Florida Travel

Stay away from these animals near Disney World. They may have rabies.

Rabies is “the most deadly virus on the planet.”

Although not that common, rabies is a serious concern among mammals.
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Although not that common, rabies is a serious concern among mammals.

Although Disney is known for whimsical and lovable talking wild animals, don’t try to pet the ones near Walt Disney World’s Epcot: They may have rabies.

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is issuing a 60-day rabies alert for a two-mile radius around the intersection of Interstate 4 and Epcot Center Drive. A feral cat testing positive for the disease is the cause of the alert.

The area is home to many resort hotels and theme parks, including Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The sick kitty may have infected other animals. The health department advises to stay away from feral cats, stray dogs and all wildlife — particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.

If you or a family member has been bitten or scratched by an animal in the alert area, you should wash the wound with soap and water, seek medical attention and then call Orange County Animal Services at 407-254-9150.

Make sure to keep your pets safe, too. The health department said that domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated.

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system that can cause paralysis and is fatal to warm-blooded animals and humans. The virus is spread through saliva, and humans may become infected through a bite wound, scratch or exposure of a fresh cut to saliva of a rabid animal.

Miami Herald Real Time Reporter Devoun Cetoute covers breaking news, Florida theme parks and general assignment. He attends the University of Florida and grew up in Miami. Theme parks are on his mind in and out of the office.
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