Locals visited Disneyland during exposure period to Legionnaires - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Locals visited Disneyland during exposure period to Legionnaires' Disease

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Disneyland has shut down two cooling towers after people who visited the theme park came down with Legionnaires' Disease.

The Orange County Health Care Agency says a dozen cases of the bacterial illness were discovered about three weeks ago.

All the patients lived or had spent time in Anaheim. Nine had visited Disneyland in September.

The health agency says there haven't been any new cases reported. One patient, who didn't visit the park has died.

As for those on the Central Coast, Disneyland is a popular spot to go to and learning of the news was a bit surprising.

"Well anytime you hear about something like that in an area where you are there's a certain amount of concern or alarm immediately," said David Soothing of Morro Bay.

He and his fiance visited Disneyland back in September. Waking up Sunday morning, they learned they were at the theme park during the exposure period to Legionnaires' Disease.

"I guess the good news is we feel okay," said Soothing.

The disease comes from a bacteria that is naturally in the environment, usually in water. It can cause severe pneumonia and is spread by mist from contaminated water.

Symptoms can include a high fever, chills and a cough.

Joy Wilde of Atascadero says she and her family visited the park a handful of times in September.

"Just kind of worried me because my son and my husband both have had a little bit of respiratory symptoms since then," Wilde said. "We just kind of attributed it to allergies, now we're wondering if they might have had a little bit of the Legionnaires'.

Disneyland has since shut down and disinfected two cooling towers that had high levels of the bacteria. The towers will re-open after it's confirmed they're no longer contaminated.

"I don't think this will detour us from visiting again" Soothing concluded.

"We have annual passes. We're actually going in two weeks," Wilde added.

The Orange County Health Agency says the exposure period was September 12th through the 27th. The disease is treated with antibiotics.

The CDC says about 6,000 cases of Legionnaires' Disease were reported in the United States in 2015.

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