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Rabies alert issued for Disney World's Epcot after infected cat scratches performers

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  • The biggest news at Disney World for 2019  really, the biggest theme parknews in years  will be the debut of Star Wars: Galaxys Edge.1 of 19
  • The Mouse has been doling out details about the Star Wars lands it has been developing at Disneys Hollywood Studios and Disneyland (the California Galaxys Edge is scheduled to open in the summer) in dribs and drabs, and the full picture has yet to come into full focus.2 of 19
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will turn the controls of the legendary starship over to visitors.3 of 19
  • Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will transport guests to a remote trading port on the edge of space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life. The land will open at both Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland in California in 2019.4 of 19
  • Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney parks, experiences and consumer products,  revealed exciting details of new experiences coming to the parks during the Destination D event held for members of the D23 fan club in November at Disney World.5 of 19
  • The focus may be on intergalactic adventures at Disney World in 2019, but Mickey Mouse, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, will help bring things down to Earth with a number of developments dedicated to him across the resort.6 of 19
  • In mid-January, Mickey  Minnies Surprise Celebration will kick off at the Magic Kingdom. The festivities will include the Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party.7 of 19
  • Replacing The Great Movie Ride at Disneys Hollywood Studios, Mickey  Minnies Runaway Railway will transport guests into the animated world of the Disney Channels Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts and feature its retro, stylized characters and look and feel.8 of 19
  • Mickey will be among the cavalcade of stars in The Wonderful World of Animation, a new nighttime show at Disneys Hollywood Studios. As with other presentations that use the parks Chinese Theater as a backdrop, it will incorporate projection mapping along with pyrotechnics, lasers and other effects.9 of 19
  • Visitors will be able to hobnob with characters from Monsters, Inc. and The Incredibles as well as get their groove on with Doc McStuffins and other video celebs at the Disney Junior Dance Party!10 of 19
  • The IllumiNations fireworks spectacle that caps each evening at Epcot has been running for years, and there has been talk about replacing it for some time. Chapek confirmed that the show will end in summer of 2019 and that a new nighttime presentation will take its place in 2020.11 of 19
  • Using fireworks, lasers and what the park is calling choreographed, special effects kites, Epcot Forever will focus on Epcot attractions of the past and present and incorporate their music.12 of 19
  • A new dark ride called Remys Ratatouille Adventure will be added to the France pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot.13 of 19
  • A Beauty and the Beast sing-along presentation will be another addition to Epcots France pavilion.14 of 19
  • There will be a new way to get to Epcot along with Disneys Hollywood Studios next year when the resort opens its new Skyliner transportation system in the fall.15 of 19
  • Chapek revealed one of the Skyliner gondolas at the Destination D event in November.16 of 19
  • Inspired by the European grandeur Walt Disney experienced in his travels along the Mediterranean coastline, Disneys Riviera Resort is projected to open in fall 2019.17 of 19
  • The new 300-room Riviera Resort will be part of the Disney Vacation Club.18 of 19
  • Disneys Coronado Springs resort will add 545 guest rooms to its portfolio when the 15-story Gran Destino Tower expansion opens in July.19 of 19

Mickey Mouse might be due for a rabies vaccine.

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County has issued a 60-day rabies warning at Walt Disney World Resort in response to reports that a rabid cat had been found in the area.

The alert, announced Tuesday, covers a two-mile radius around Disney’s Epcot Center theme park in southwest Orange County.

Disney World spokeswoman Erica Ettori told USA TODAY that two cast members were scratched by the lab-confirmed rabid cat but did not contract the virus. 

“We are relieved the two Cast Members received timely treatment and are back to work,” Ettori said.

In its statement, the Florida Department of Health asked the public to “maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in this area of southwest Orange County.”

Because the cat may have spread the rabies to other animals, the department advised that people in the affected area avoid stray cats and dogs as well as wildlife such as raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.

Their statement also instructed anyone who comes in contact with those animals to seek immediate medical attention and contact Orange County Animal Services at 407-254-9150.

It also urged pet owners to vaccinate their animals if they had not done so already. 

More: These are the world’s most-visited theme parks

According to the Centers for Disease Control, rabies is a “fatal but preventable viral disease” that can can also cause paralysis and coma. Because the virus is spread through animal saliva, humans can be infected through animal bites, scratches or open-wound exposure.  The only way to stop it is by preventing the virus from taking hold through a series of shots. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, a fast-acting shot of rabies-immune globulin is administered to the site of the bite as soon as possible. Then, over the next two weeks, the patient is given a series of four additional shots to train his or her immune system to identify and attack the virus. 

More: 17 money-saving Disney World and Disneyland hacks to try


“The Lion King” character Rafiki helped a family with a gender reveal at Disney World.

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