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Published on Friday, December 7, 2018

Disneyland likely to have been source of Legionnaires' disease, court told

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Southern California last year was likely to have started in Disneyland, a US court has been told.

In testimony to an appeals board judge at the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an Orange County health official said tests showed high levels of Legionella bacteria in two of Disneyland's cooling towers at the time of the disease outbreak.

Dr Matthew Zahn said a Disneyland cooling tower was 'likely' the source which made 22 people ill, including three Disney employees.

The vast majority of them had visited the park in and around October 2017 when the outbreak was discovered. However, Zain said he could not be certain with 100% accuracy that Disneyland was the source without more testing.

Disney has continued to dispute the claim it was responsible. Zain said Disneyland Cooling Tower 4 had very high levels of bacteria when tested during the outbreak. When it was shut down and cleaned the number of new cases seemed to stop.

The theme park operator was fined $33,000 for failing to properly clean the cooling towers.

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