PHOTOS - Disney steps up the fight against Zika at Walt Disney World

Aug 28, 2016 in "Walt Disney World Resorts"

Mosquito Prevention station at Epcot
Posted: Sunday August 28, 2016 9:38M EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney is taking further measures to help control the spread of the Zika virus in the state of Florida, with new guest-facing mosquito control measures.

Beginning today, all Walt Disney World locations, including the parks and resort hotels, will be offering free mosquito repellent to both guests and cast members.

In addition, Disney is handing out flyers to all guests arriving by car at the auto-plazas, giving information and tips for mosquito control.

Disney already has a comprehensive mosquito control program in operation at its Florida resort, but with the heightened need for further control, the company has taken additional steps in recent weeks.

Beyond the new guest initiative, Disney has also moved to eliminate filled standing water areas around property, which includes filling in areas of the former River Country water park.

Discuss on the Forums

Get Walt Disney World News Delivered to Your Inbox

View all comments →

Gabe1Sep 09, 2016

Day 3. First bite. Disney Springs old west side area. Lots of construction still.

SorcererMCAug 30, 2016

It is going to take some time to prove any causal link between Zika virus and cognitive deficits and its frequency among adults who have been infected. I'd like to provide some more context: This is based on a preliminary study published in Cell Stem Cell 08-18-16 which shows that neural progenitor cells in adults can be infected by the Zika virus (which was previously unknown), and helps explain the increased occurrence of immune-mediated Guillain-Barre Syndrome (risk estimate calculated as .24 per 1000 Zika virus infection cases) by describing the possible virus mechanism. Here is a link to the American Academy of Neurology April press release which describes a study in Brazil of 151 patients with neurological manifestations from Zika during the outbreak Dec 2014-Dec 2015 (It's not in the article, but the Brazilian government/WHO has estimated that there were 1.5 mln Zika virus cases.) “This doesn’t mean that all people infected with Zika will experience these brain problems. Of those who have nervous system problems, most do not have brain symptoms,” said Ferreira. “However, our study may shed light on possible lingering effects the virus may be associated with in the brain.” ------------------------------------------------ This suggests to me (a non-medical professional with rare neurological and immunological diseases in my family) that the neurological effects of Zika virus are more likely to occur in symptomatic cases, (ie symptoms as evidence of an immune response), and perhaps among those with weakened immune systems.

wdwmagicAug 30, 2016

The talk about this only affecting family planning and pregnant guests may well change significantly if this becomes confirmed. Zika virus could have Alzheimer's-like effect in adults

SorcererMCAug 30, 2016

Nor are all of those couples/ families going to Orlando or WDW in particular, it's for all of Florida (eg, Miami, FL Keys, cruises, the Gulf, etc.)

21stampsAug 30, 2016

I completely agree with this. Also, out of that 13% of 18-35, not all, or probably even the majority, are in family planning stages. Not even all of the 12% 'young with kids in household' is.

SorcererMCAug 30, 2016

Let me explain why I think there will be little impact on attendance from Zika or little economic impact, although it is a concern. According to VisitFL data, out of all domestic visitors to Florida (annual avg 80 mln), adults of child-bearing age (18-35) account for 13% 'young with no kids' and 12% 'young with kids in household'. Many of those visitors would be coming from feeder states (eg GA, TX, NY, NC) that also have moderate risk for Zika virus (due to the vector mosquito habitat area). As such, I assume they would have some awareness about the Zika virus and how to prevent its transmission. The northern states have low risk, so then it becomes a question of when do they (eg IL, OH, PA, MA) usually visit Florida? I'm assuming a split between summer and winter months. So, looking towards next summer/mosquito season, it depends on potential locally-transmitted cases in Florida. I would expect future outbreaks in the US to remain limited due to vigilance and increasing public awareness. I also expect better diagnostic tests/ capabilities (ie young couples to be tested for the virus and plan accordingly). I could be wrong of course (since tourists typically avoid areas of disease outbreaks), nevertheless the conclusion I've reached (so far) is that there will be a low or limited economic impact and that any decrease in attendance would rebound fairly quickly.

DisorbustAug 30, 2016

Great gesture bit isn't going to change if guests will visit or not. Our OBs at my hospital are reccomending no travel to Florida, etc if you are or or considering getting pregnant. Basically they are tellling their patients its not worth the risk. I do think this will have an impact on attendance. Even though I'm in Wisconsin I have been told by patients that they are waiting to get pregnant until mosquito season is over.

Princess LeiaAug 30, 2016 It will take some time before this is ready for humans, but this is a good sign.

englanddgAug 30, 2016

Yep, found it. DHHS and CDC awards totaling around 1.8 billion.

englanddgAug 30, 2016

Makes you wonder if there was grant money involved through the Feds funneled through the state...wouldn't surprise me.

DaveeeeedAug 29, 2016

If it was like state of emergency bad I wouldn't even go, but if it is like it is yeah we'll definitely be wearing as little as possible to avoid the heat. I guess the only people that would are those super modest people, I don't know why and how they do it though.

21stampsAug 29, 2016

I highly doubt that it's no cost. Agree that there shouldn't be a problem of it was though. I'm horrible and use repellent that does not contain DEET. But I will get it for our cruise.

SorcererMCAug 29, 2016

I actually see no problem with this (providing cans at no/reduced cost), as I would rather individuals use EPA-approved effective repellents containing DEET than get scammed by the fakes that have popped up.

trampdogAug 29, 2016

It's also awesome advertising for the Cutter brand. The two major brands in this space are Off! and Cutter. Which one are you going to buy after a visit to Disney or seeing this on the news? I am sure they provided the product at no or reduced cost. Win/win situation if I was in marketing.