LOS ANGELES (AP) – A cooling tower that pleasantly fogged visitors to Disneyland was the probable source for 22 cases of Legionnaires' disease outbreak last year near the theme park , a health official testified this week.
Most patients who fell ill visited the park in the fall of 2017. Disneyland has denied that it was the source and points to three infected individuals who had been in the city of Anaheim, where Disneyland is located but not in the park itself. One of them died.
Dr. Orange County Health Care Agency's Matthew Zahn made a statement Tuesday to a California Occupational Safety and Health Administration appeals judge investigating the case.
Zahn said tests have detected high levels of Legionella bacteria at the time of the outbreak Two Los Angeles Times hotspots are on display in two Disneyland cooling towers that are part of an air conditioning system. He said contaminated droplets would probably spread to the people in the park and beyond.
Disneyland is facing state fines and says the source of the outbreak is not scientifically determined.
At the interrogation, Zahn said he could not be completely sure that Disneyland was the source without additional testing.
The disease is caused by bacteria that can grow in artificial water systems. People may suffer from pneumonia after inhaling contaminated vapor.
A young girl diagnosed with legionnaires following a visit to Disneyland last fall has filed a lawsuit against the amusement park.
"The facts do not support these allegations Lament has no merit," said Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown on Tuesday.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/