Rabies warning issued near Disney’s Epcot theme park after employees scratched by feral cat

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Cat sitting still while a Veterinarian administers his vaccines.

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Vacationers visiting Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park may want to keep an eye out for feral felines after the Florida Department of Health in Orange County issued a rabies warning in the area following the discovery of an infected cat.

The health officials issued the alert Tuesday after an undomesticated cat that tested positive for the virus was located near the intersection of Interstate 4 and Epcot Center Drive in southwest Orange County. The alert is for a two-mile radius around the intersection and is set to last 60 days.

According to Disney spokeswoman, two employees were scratched by the cat near an office building roughly two miles from Epcot. Both employees have since returned to work.

Portions of Epcot, which according to the Themed Entertainment Association welcomed about 12.4 million guests last year, are within the affected area. Epcot is the only Disney park within the two-mile radius.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, which is home to a number of wild animals, are roughly four and five miles from Epcot, respectively.

Visitors and residents in the area have been advised to avoid feral animals because they could have been infected with the disease. Rabies is a potentially deadly virus that attacks the central nervous system and is typically spread to humans through the saliva of infected animals.

Animals with rabies can display symptoms of aggression, fever, loss of appetite and paralysis. Orange County officials warned anyone who may have been bitten or scratched by a rabid animal to immediately wash the wound and seek medical attention.

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