Disney guests sickened by mystery illness

The Orange County Health Department and Walt Disney World are trying to track down what caused dozens of people to become violently ill after taking one of Disney’s most expensive tours.

Health department officials said more than 30 guests have gotten sick with some kind of bad stomach bug in June and July.

The link: They were all on Disney’s Wild Africa Trek, a paid guest experience that includes a three-hour tour, ending with dinner at a safari-style camp.

The health department found out June 11 and immediately sent inspectors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out the food prep areas.

“Two of those inspections showed no problems, no health violations,” said Dain Weister, with the Orange County Health Department. “The inspection was satisfactory.”

Health department officials say they have things under control, and Disney has begun taking extra steps to deep-clean things that guests touch.

The reported symptoms include stomach cramps and pain, vomiting and diarrhea. None of the guests had to be hospitalized.

Health officials said they believe the sickness could be linked to the Norwalk virus, which is known for hitting schools, cruise ships and assisted living facilities.

The illness also seemed to be confined to this one excursion, and did not affect any other Disney parks or resorts.

“We just don’t know if this is something related to food, water, something on a surface they touched, or just passed on person-to-person,” Weister said.

The health department has asked Disney guests to take extra precautions and make sure to sanitize their hands regularly.

“No cause for alarm here,” said Weister. “We believe this is under control. We’re trying to find the source so no one else gets sick.”

The health department interviewed hundreds of people as they investigated the sicknesses.

Those people who didn’t get sick told health officials they frequently washed their hands or used hand sanitizer.

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