Rabies alert issued at Disney World Florida.

A rabies alert has been issued at Disney World in Florida as schools break up for the summer holidays. Health officials in the state have issued a 60-day rabies alert for the resort's Epcot theme park
, warning people from touching wildlife and "stray dogs".The warning covers a two-mile radius surrounding Epcot Center Drive. It was issued after a feral cat tested positive for the disease. Officials warned against people touching feral cats, stray dogs and all wildlife particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.”Rabies can be a fatal viral disease which humans can contract if they are scratched or bitten by an infected animal.

Symptoms of the disease can include general weakness or discomfort, fever or a headache. In extreme cases where fatality is likely, the infected person can experience delirium, abnormal behaviour, hallucinations, hydrophobia (fear of water) and insomnia. Earlier this year a woman died from rabies after doctors reportedly mistook her symptoms for panic attacks. The Virginia woman, who isn’t named, went to A&E with shortness of breath, sleeping problems and anxiety, leading doctors to believe she was experiencing a panic attack. But further analysis revealed that she had a rabies infection, contracted from a dog bite while on a yoga retreat in India.

And sadly, this proved to be fatal. While there is a vaccine for rabies, in order for it to be effective, it must be given before symptoms appear. Once a person starts showing symptoms, the disease is almost always fatal. The report said: “This was the ninth death in the United States from rabies infection acquired while travelling or working abroad since 2008.“These events underscore the importance of obtaining a thorough pretravel health consultation, particularly when visiting countries with a high incidence of emerging or zoonotic pathogens, to ensure awareness of health risks and appropriate pretravel and postexposure health care actions.”