Eight guests and one worker at Disneyland have contracted Legionnaires' disease, prompting the Anaheim, Calif., theme park to close a pair of cooling towers.
People who have contracted Legionnaire's disease are not contagious. By the end of October, Disneyland learned of the cases.
Twelve cases of Legionnaires' disease are being investigated by OC health experts, among those are 9 patients who visited the park in September, according to the OC Register.
According to the OCHCA, the Legionnaire's disease exposure period ranged from September 12 to September 27, Hymel said, adding that Disney thoroughly reviewed all regular water testing for the resort, "including work performed by contracted third-party experts", and "implemented additional redundant testing of other cooling towers on our property". Neither Disney nor the contractor would have been aware of the human cases at that time.
Disneyland discovered the contamination last month and has taken the towers out of service for disinfection.
Test results for the towers could take up to two weeks. Those who were afflicted ranged in age from 52 to 94. One patient, who hadn't visited the park, has died. That person did not visit Disneyland, she said.
"There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak", the health care agency said in a statement.
Health agency officials say the disease is becoming more common, citing 55 reports of Legionella disease in Orange County through October 2017, compared with 53 for the entire year of 2016 and 33 in 2015.
The disease is caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila, found in both potable and nonpotable water systems.
Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria. Outbreaks are often traced to hot tubs, decorative fountains, cooling towers and large air-conditioning systems that emit water vapor into the air. People who develop symptoms may experience fever, cough, chills, shortness of breath, headaches, muscle aches and diarrhea.
Ten of the 12 people who became ill were hospitalized.
Persons with legionellosis are not infectious; the infection is not spread from person to person.