Flesh Eating Bacteria Kills Floridians, Disney World Next

in Disney Parks

Typhoon Lagoon

Credit: Disney

Being in Florida right now feels like a terrifying time with the amount of virus’ that are penetrating the state and putting tourists in harm’s way. Now, another fear has been unlocked, and Disney World Guests should be worrying.

Of course, all of us remember the trials and tragedies that COVID-19 and the overall pandemic brought to the world. The idea of having to isolate for what ended up being months on end, with limitations and rules being put into place for years, altering the lives of every human on the planet, is a horrifying thought — and an experience no one ever wants to live through again. 

family as disney with masks
Credit: Disney

Lately, Florida has been receiving some virus threats, but this time, it is not COVID-19 but rather a new potentially fatal virus. We previously shared that Dengue, which is a viral infection found mostly in tropical and subtropical climates, and mostly in urban or semi-urban areas, is now being found in Florida. It is transmitted by female Aedes mosquitoes that have bitten a person infected with the virus and can have the potential to be fatal.

As if this virus was not terrifying enough, just near Disney World, flesh-eating bacteria is being discovered.

Fox News stated, “Five people are confirmed dead in the Tampa Bay area because of a flesh-eating bacterium known to lurk at beaches, Florida officials reported.” Tampa Bay is located just a short drive away from Walt Disney World Resort and is home to Busch Gardens. The city serves as a popular tourist destination for travelers, and does have some of the closest beaches to Walt Disney World, making it a frequently visited location for Guests with their own cars.

It seems, “the vibrio vulnificus bacterium’s natural habitat is in warm, brackish seawater because it requires salt to live. The bacteria typically grow more quickly in warmer months. Infections are rare, but health officials say those with open wounds, cuts or scrapes should stay out of the water.”

The publication continued, “Five people have died this year from reported bacterial infections, including two in Hillsborough County and one each in Pasco, Polk and Sarasota counties. There have been 26 reported cases of vibrio vulnificus infections in Florida since January, officials said.”

Disneyland Paris Guests wearing masks speaking with a Cast Member
Credit: Disney

When attacked, the bacterium can invade the bloodstream, causing a severe life-threatening illness with symptoms including fever, chills, decreased blood pressure and blistering skin lesions. There were 17 reported deaths from this flesh-eating bacteria if Florida last year. Those who contract the bacteria may pass within a day or two of having it, but that average is one in five.

Vibrio vulnificus can also cause disease in people who eat raw or undercooked oysters and shellfish, but luckily, it has never been reported to have contaminated any shellfish on Walt Disney World property.

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Credit: Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

The virus has not made its way to any Walt Disney World body of water that we know of, and cannot be transmitted from person to person. That being said, when people come to Disney for a vacation, many tend to leave the Disney bubble to explore other areas of the state, like Universal Orlando Resort just down the road or the tropical and stunning beaches. As we mentioned, the Tampa Bay area houses some of the closest bodies of water, which means that anyone who is traveling to Disney World but also is looking to enjoy the beach should take proper precautions at all times.

typhoon lagoon
Credit: Disney

If going to the beach is a safety risk you do not want to take, visitors can always visit Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, which is a water park that creates a mock beach, or they can stay at one of the more tropical Disney hotels like Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort or Disney’s Polynesian Resort, both of which have sand that looks out over the water. That being said, the water is not swimmable due to potential alligator threats.

In the past, we had seen dangerous bacteria enter Disney water park waters at River Country, the now shut-down water park, which caused one Guest to die. This has not happened since, but it is proof that no matter how many safety protocols are put into place, Disney may not always be safe from harm.

Have you ever visited a Florida beach while on a Disney World vacation? 

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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