Theme parks face impact from potential epidemic
Written by Robert Niles
Turn on the cable news stations and it's all swine flu, all the time. The European Union is advising Europeans against travel to areas of Mexico and the United States affected, including Southern California. (Though, from a theme park perspective, relatively few Europeans visit SoCal's theme parks, opting for the Orlando-area parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando instead.)Tweet
Six Flags has closed indoor rides and shows at its Six Flags Mexico theme park in Mexico City, as much of that metropolis closes down to prevent the spread of the virus.
But the big impact to the theme park industry would be the virus emerging in Orlando. And authorities there are awaiting test results on a possible case. A local TV station reported that a tourists from Mexico visiting Walt Disney World was infected. But Florida Hospital officials denied that report, saying that they were awaiting test results and that the case might be one of "normal" flu.
Pardon me for questioning the hype, but I wonder why everyone is getting so worked up about a few dozen cases of "swine" flu, when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 99 people, on average, die from the flu in the United States a day. It's not like dozens of deaths from the flu is anything new. This is a nasty illness, well worthy of respect and utmost prevention at all times, not just when cable TV talking heads obsess over it.
Now, I shall go wash my hands.
Update (4/30): Never mind. This strain appears less severe that the "normal" flu.
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