An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease is known to have spread throughout Disneyland. Today, park officials are claiming that there are no longer any known risks. Visiting tourists and employees alike will have to take the theme park on it's word. But rest assured, Disney knows there is a problem, and have done everything to contain it.
Disneyland had to shut down two cooling towers this past week. What they call a 'small number of visitors' were struck with Legionnaires' disease after visiting the park. Though an official count hasn't been confirmed. Disney is taking responsibility for the disease outbreak, and had this to say in a statement courtesy of chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Dr. Pamela Hymel.
"On Oct. 27, we learned from the Orange County Health Care Agency of increased Legionnaires' disease cases in Anaheim. We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria. These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are currently shut down."
Disneyland shared this information immediately with Orange County health experts. At this time, Disneyland, using Hymel as their spokesperson, has confirmed that there is no longer a 'known' risk associated with the facilities.
There are twelve different cases of Legionnaires' disease being investigated by OC health officials. Nine of these individuals confirmed that they had visited the park in September. A spokeswoman for the OC Health Care Agency later confirmed that these twelve people fell into the 52 to 94 age range.
Legionnaires' disease is an airborne disease. It is known for causing a certain form of pneumonia and is especially deadly amongst people who are 50 and older. The disease is not contagious, and it does not spread from person to person, so you don't have to worry about sitting next to the wrong person on a Disneyland ride.
Disneyland is no stranger to strange or harmful incidents including major accidents, injuries, deaths, and similar significant occurrences over the years. In 1974, an 18-year-old employee was crushed between the revolving walls of the America Sings attraction. And in 2003, a man died while riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad when the roller coaster-like ride derailed. In 1998, the hull of the Sailing Ship Columbia tore loose and stuck a young man in the head, killing him and injuring two other park attendees.
In 2000, a young woman suffered a brain hemorrhage and later died after riding the Indiana Jones Adventure, and the ride was confirmed as the culprit. There's also this description of an incident that happened on It's a Small World that's, well, we'll just let you read it for yourself.
"The ride broke down while a guest with quadriplegia was on the ride. The guest was stuck in the ride's "Goodbye Room", the final setting of It's a Small World, for between 30 and 40 minutes before being evacuated. As he suffered from medical conditions that were aggravated by the "blaring music" and inability to exit the ride, he sued Disney for not having adequate evacuation procedures for disabled guests on that ride, and for not providing the proper warning developed for those who could not evacuate during a ride stoppage. On March 26, 2013, the jury awarded the man US$8,000."
Perhaps one of the most notorious injures stems from 1984, when a woman was beheaded on the Matterhorn ride. The PeopleMover is also known to have taken a few lives. There are plenty of other Disneyland incidents that have happened throughout the years, some of them pretty grisly. But this outbreak of Legionnaires' disease is the first time the theme park has hosted a potentially deadly virus. As they say, the zombie apocalypse outbreak has to start somewhere. What better than the happiest place on earth? This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.