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Elliot Olsen has more than two decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars in compensation for his clients. If you or a family member has become sick in this Disneyland Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, please call him at 612-337-6126, or complete the following:

A Disneyland Legionnaires’ disease outbreak has sickened nine visitors to the theme park in Anaheim, CA, numerous news sources are reporting.

The outbreak includes three people who did not visit Disneyland. Of the 12 victims, aged between 52 and 94 years old, 10 were hospitalized and one person has died.

Nine visitors to Disneyland have contracted Legionnaires' disease, and theme park officials have shut down two cooling towers behind New Orleans Square (pictured).

Nine visitors to Disneyland have contracted Legionnaires’ disease, and theme park officials have shut down two cooling towers behind New Orleans Square (pictured).

The person who died had additional health problems and did not visit Disneyland, a spokesperson for the Orange County Health Care Agency said.

Disneyland officials said they have shut down two bacteria-contaminated cooling towers in a backstage area near New Orleans Square. Both cooling towers are more than 100 feet from areas accessible to guests, a Disneyland spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times. A Disneyland employee is among those who was sickened.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified Orange County authorities in mid-October of several cases of Legionnaires’ disease among travelers to the county in September. County epidemiologists then learned that a cluster of people diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease recently had visited, lived or worked in Anaheim, and several had spent time at Disneyland.

A disease on the rise

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe type of pneumonia or lung infection and is “an emerging disease in the sense that the number of recorded cases of Legionnaires’ in the United States continues to increase,” according to Laura Cooley, MD, MPH, from the Respiratory Diseases Branch of the CDC.

Cooley said she believes the increase is due to an increase in the susceptibility of the population, with more and more people on immunosuppressive medications. In addition there could be more Legionella in the environment, with warmer temperatures creating the right conditions for bacterial growth.

About 25,000 cases yearly

According to the CDC, an estimated 25,000 cases of Legionnaires’ disease occur in the United States annually. However, only 5,000 of those cases are reported because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which thrive in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments, such as cooling towers, air-conditioning systems, hot tubs, and spas, to name a few.

Complications can be severe

After Legionnaires’ disease has been diagnosed, hospitalization is often necessary. In the most severe cases, complications can include respiratory failure, kidney failure, septic shock, or even death.

Anyone can get the disease, but those at the greatest risk of infection include:

  • people 50 or older
  • smokers (current or former)
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with chronic lung disease
  • people with weakened immune systems.