Fatal Virus Cases Grow, Disney World at Severe Risk

in Disney Parks

family at disney with masks

Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, it seems that cases are increasing in a new virus that is known to potentially be fatal to its host, and it is being found near Walt Disney World Resort in increasing numbers.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the world shut down, including Walt Disney World. This was the longest shutdown in Walt Disney World Resort history and forced the company to suffer a financial loss, which they are still attempting to rebuild. Now, another issue is at hand.

sign during covid asking people to wear a mask while taking photos at EPCOT
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney World reopened to Guests in July 2020 and has remained open since, along with a majority of the state. Because of this, Florida became, more than ever, one of the most sought out states to visit because it had the most activities and sense of “normalcy” to offer, all while keeping safe. Walt Disney World Resort even became the most searched vacation destination!

Now, it seems a new virus has been found in Florida, and it is being caused by a bug bite. Florida health officials are warning residents about the risks of mosquito-borne illnesses after five cases of dengue fever were reported this month in a part of the United States where locally acquired cases are rare.

Of course, this can drive fear into Guests at Walt Disney World, as their vacation plans may now put them in harms way.

Disney World Cast Members Covid-19 Testing
Credit: Josh D’Amaro Instagram

As we have reported, “Dengue is a viral infection found mostly in tropical and subtropical climates, and mostly in urban or semi-urban areas. It is transmitted by female Aedes mosquitoes that have bitten a person infected with the virus.”

There are four dengue viruses listed by the CDC, and a person can be infected with dengue four times over their lifetime as the post-recovery immunity is type-specific. A second infection with a different stereotype of the virus than the first increases the risk of severe illness. (A possible fifth dengue virus has been reported, but not confirmed.)

If bit by a mosquito carrying the virus, symptoms will show up within a couple of days. Normal symptoms include fever, nausea, headaches, vomiting, muscle and joint pain. There are also more severe cases which will result in internal bleeding, shock and organ failure. It is sometimes called break-bone fever because of the severity of the muscle spasms and joint pain it can cause.

Cast Member wears a mask and holds a Mickey mask in front of their face outside Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

Related: Massive Travel Ban Prohibits Multiple Countries From Visiting Disney

Although Dengue does not typically cause death, it can, much like we saw with COVID-19. The virus is not common in the United States, but with cases popping up slowly, it seems that these mosquitos are, unfortunately, taking a liking to the hot climate that surrounds Disney World.

Previously, we had seen five confirmed cases, now there are 11, along with 204 travel-associated dengue cases, according to CNN. 

About 100 million people get sick, and 40,000 die of severe dengue around the world each year, according to the CDC.

disney face masks sign
Credit: ITM

There is indeed a vaccine for those who are attacked by Dengue. Only one dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, manufactured by the Paris-based pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At the moment, there has not been any talk about U.S. residents needing this vaccine.

How to Test For Dengue

CNN explained how potential Dengue carriers can test for the virus. “If you get sick and live in an area where dengue might be spreading or have traveled to a place where the virus is common, the CDC recommends consulting your doctor. The only definite way to know if you have the virus is through blood testing, which varies from place to place. The general recommendation is to do a PCR test, she says, if your symptoms started within a week or less.”

disney world guests
Credit: Disney

The best thing that you can do to protect yourself is to wear insect repellent when outside. These mosquitos like to be around people, so Walt Disney World Resort may be a potential breeding ground for the bugs.

How Will Disney Prevent Dengue?

Disney actually does well when it comes to keeping mosquitos out of their theme parks. Florida is surrounded by moist swamp ground, which is typically a haven for mosquitos. But, while walking around the Magic Kingdom, you may realize that nothing is really biting you.

Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing, stagnant water. This is why the swampland was the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. So Disney knew that getting rid of any standing water was the first step in eliminating the pests altogether. Therefore, the building of drainage ditches throughout the park grounds would be created to remove any water before it could pool into areas and become stagnant.

splash mountain
Cfrdit: Disney

It’s nearly unnoticeable by Guests unless they’re really looking for it, but water inside the parks is always on the move. It’s either at the bottom of the 50-foot waterfall at the retired Splash Mountain, now Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, in Frontierland (Magic Kingdom) where it is constantly moving, thanks to the splashing that erupts as the log flumes descend the side of the mountain, or it’s located in an area where there are one or more fountains that keep the water churning.

There are no areas of standing water in the parks, which makes it nearly impossible for mosquitos to lay their eggs. Want to know more on this? Read our coverage here.

Have you ever been bitten by a mosquito in Walt Disney World?

If you are looking to visit Walt Disney World Resort for a magical vacation, the Walt Disney World Website can be a great tool to begin planning your trip! You can begin exploring their theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. You can also take a look at their water parks where you can splash around in the chill of Disney’s Blizzard Beach (alongside new Frozen characters, Anna, Elsa, Sven, and Kristoff), or hit the waves at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. When you get hungry or want to go shopping, Disney Springs is the place to be, especially with World of Disney there ready to help you pick up some souvenirs! You can also begin looking for your Disney World Resort! If you are looking to stay at a Deluxe monorail Resort like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa or a Value Resort where you can hop on the Skyliner like Disney’s Pop Century Resort, it is always fun to begin looking for a room that would best suit you and your party. Plus, it has all the information you need to know on Disney Genie+ so that you will be ready to go on your My Disney Experience app once you download it! Click here to check it out today.


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