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Disney World Guests Be Ware of Rise of Leprosy in Central Florida

Main Street, U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World
Credit: Brittany DiCologero

A lot goes into planning a trip to Disney World. Finding the right Resort for your crew, along with dining reservations, Genie+, and travel accommodations, there are quite a few boxes to check off the list before arrival. The last thing you plan for is getting sick on vacation or once you return home. A trip to Disney World should be one of the most magical yet things to happen.

Recently there has been a rise in leprosy cases in Central Florida, where Walt Disney World is located. While reports have not come directly from Guests visiting the Parks, it is smart to be aware of the causes, effects, and how to handle the situation if you are presented with a problem.

Walt Disney World Entrance

Credit: Disney

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As recently stated, a lot goes into planning a trip to Disney World. Some Guests come from other countries, accessing many ways to get to the Parks. With that said, you’ll come in contact with many people along your travel before scanning your magic band into the Parks. So how can you be aware and safe while traveling to and from Orlando?

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What is Leprosy?

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, “is an infectious disease that primarily affects the skin and the peripheral nerves,” Florida Health reports. What’s good news is that if caught early, patients can be treated and become uninfectious within a week. According to Florida Health,

About 95% of the world’s population has a natural immunity to theM. lepraebacillus. In the past, it was believed that transmission required prolonged close contact with someone known to be infected. However, about 75% of patients in countries such as the United States have no known contact. Some studies now show thatM. lepraecan survive outside the human body, suggesting the possibility of indirect transmission.

Meet and Greet with Stitch

Credit: Disney

Visitors of Central Florida do not need to be overly concerned about the exposure of the disease but to be aware “the incidence rate of leprosy in the area is not high enough to cause excessive concern about exposure,” as Disney Dining writes. Additionally, the CDC has not a travel advisory for the state of Florida or any other state for that matter. The CDC also writes,

  • Hansen’s disease does not spread easily from person to person. You cannot get leprosy through casual contact such as shaking hands, sitting next to, or talking to someone who has the disease.
  • Prolonged, close contact with someone with untreated Hansen’s disease over many months is needed to become infected. Around 95% of all people cannot become sick because they are naturally immune.
  • Leprosy can be cured with antibiotic treatment. Once someone starts treatment for Hansen’s disease, they can no longer spread the disease to other people.
Cinderella Castle

Credit: Disney

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Thankfully, not posing a threat to Walt Disney World; it’s always important to stay healthy and be aware of your surroundings when traveling. As Disney Dining said, “Although there might be a surge in locally acquired occurrences in Central Florida, individuals traveling to the state need not feel excessively anxious about their well-being.”

It’s reassuring to know that the Florida Healthcare system is up to date with what’s happening, equipped to handle any issues, and allows visitors to rest easy when visiting the sunshine state.

About Sarahfina LoFaso

Sarahfina is an author, and adjunct professor with a passion for writing and of course, all things Disney! Cinderella is her favorite princess and movie, both the animated and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1997 version. In close second place is Hercules, tied with Saving Mr. Banks. Sarahfina enjoys writing about the history of Walt Disney and all the parks, along with food, dining, and resorts. Her favorite ride is the Tower of Terror, and her favorite restaurant right now is the San Angel Inn, in EPCOT. Most importantly, her must-have snack every Disney trip is the controversial turkey leg, because it reminds her of her family trips as a kid with her grandparents.