Visitors and employees of Disney World are being warned about a potential rabies threat. The Florida Department of Health in Orange County has issued a 60-day rabies warning, which means it will still be in effect when Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens up later this summer. The news comes after a violent and brutal family brawl broke out at the Disneyland California theme park last weekend. Visitors and crew members visiting Disney World are supposed to be on the lookout for any stray cats and dogs along with wildlife such as raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats, and coyotes. There is no word on if Mickey Mouse or any other Disney character has been infected at this time.
The rabies warning started at Disney World after two employees were scratched by a rabid cat. The employees were immediately treated and luckily did not contract the virus from the feline. However, the Florida Department of Health wants Disney Parks visitors to be aware just in case the cat in question came into contact with any other animals around the massive theme park. The alert covers "the two-mile radius of the intersection of Interstate 4 and Epcot Center Drive, which includes Disney's Epcot Center theme park."
The Florida Department of Health asked the public to "maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in this area of southwest Orange County," in a statement. So far, the cat is the only animal with rabies that has been located within Disney World. The Department of Health is still on the hunt for any other animals which may have been infected. Pet owners in the area have been advised to vaccinate their pets if they have not done so already as a precaution. While easily treatable, rabies can lead to death in humans and animals if not treated in a timely fashion.
Rabies is spread through animal saliva and humans usually get it after being bitten by an infected animal. Without treatment, it can lead to a coma, paralysis, and even death. A powerful shot is administered right away and the four more shots are given over the course of two weeks afterwards to get the body ready to attack the virus. Walt Disney World is massive and this alert only cover 2 square miles, so it's not that big of a risk to the entire park unless the cat has been mingling with other animals, which is entirely possible and why the alert was put in place.
If anyone comes into contact with an infected animal while visiting Walt Disney World, The Florida Department of Health asks to contact the Orange County Animal Services at 407-254-9150. And if anyone is bitten or scratched, seek out medical attention immediately and get ready for at least five shots to get your immune system ready to fight off the virus. USA Today was the first to report on the rabies scare at Walt Disney World in Florida.