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Stray cat prompts a rabies alert near Disney World's Epcot theme park

Posted at 7:31 PM, Jul 11, 2019

Think twice before petting a stray animal at Florida's Disney World Resort.

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County issued a rabies alert Tuesday after a cat that was found near the Epcot theme park tested positive for the disease.

The feral animal was discovered near Epcot Center Drive and Interstate 4, just east of the park. The alert covers a two-mile radius around the intersection and expires in 60 days.

Hollywood Studios and multiple resorts are also in the area.

"This alert should not give a false sense of security to areas that have not been named under this alert," the statement warned.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that rabies can be fatal, but it is preventable. The viral disease is passed through saliva, and early symptoms can resemble the flu.

Officials urge the public to avoid contact with all wildlife, including "raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes." Other animals in the area may also be infected.