Theme parks face impact from potential epidemic
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.)
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.
Ridiculous! If anyone buys into this type of hyperbole, I will be shocked. And no one better come knocking on the door of my hermetically sealed bubble asking for my opinion, either! Flu Germs. Nonsense!
I agree, people are blowing this out of proportion. Yeah, people should be worried about it a bit, but I do not think people should change their theme park plans. Six Flags Mexico? Probably. Disney? Probably not!
The problem is that we are talking about healthy adults ages 20-40 dying of flu. This is definitely not normal. Flu victims are normally the elderly, the very young and those with debilitated conditions in the first place. The "good thing" about this disease so far is that it seems to have a very small incubation period. This seriously restricts the speed that it can spread.
I agree, it's just like how in past years they've been worrying about the bird flu-? where's that happening at? but nobody is dying from the swine flu except for in mexico where im not sure about this but dont they have worse healthcare down there? well anyways hopefully this doesnt get to a deadly level,which i dont think it will, because 3 of the 60 that have the disease live in my county and that number is rising.
To the anonymous poster who wrote: "The problem is that we are talking about healthy adults ages 20-40 dying of flu."
I'm paying attention to the swine flu story. I can't say that I'm oblivious to the story, however the media has a tendency to spin things way out of control. It's gotten to the point where I have a hard time believing some of this stuff, however dangerous it may be. Could this be a highly dangerous situation? possibly. Could it be the next summer scare story? possibly. It seems that every year a story that comes out that scares the general public. Remember the year after Katrina? We were supposed to have the worst hurricane season ever. Remember the summer of sharks? Y2K?
People are dying in Mexico, because, quite frankly.. Their health care is a ball of crap! There have been NO deaths in the United States from the Swine Flu, and cases that have been reported have been said to have the EXACT SAME symptoms as that of the regular flu!
We all should know the swine flu is being spread by the killer bees from Africa that were unleashed by the Y2K bug. Get your mass media dysfunctions and hysteria in order.
Hey, I think flu needs to be taken seriously... all the time. People should be able to stay home from work and school whenever they are contagious, and not just during media frenzies.
Three words, folks:
this flu is very serious. it can become a global problem. yes mexico has no health care whatsoever, but nobody has built an immunity to this flu which is the biggest scare. its something new and unusual. but if we aren't careful, it could become worse.
I am a little concerned since we are going to Disney May 9th for a week…. I think I will carry a bottle of Purell and clean our hands after each ride….
lol, makes me laugh. Britain is saying don't go to US or Mexico unless its absolutely required.
LOL I think you are right about us Brits Gareth, a bit of pig flu won't stop us, I'm going in September, we are booking it in a couple of weeks and it's not stopping us, I'd rather catch it after 2 weeks in Orlando than just staying at home and catching it there!!!
It was just reported at ABCnews.com that "In Orlando, Fla., the chief medical officer at Florida Hospital Loran Hauck indicated the flu has spread to a tourist who visiting the crowded Disney World. A case was diagnosed here in Orlando today on a tourist from Mexico who came to Disney attractions two days ago to visit."
If it doesn't get worse, it will just have been hype. But the fear is that if everybody doesn't take it seriously, it could spread quickly, it's a particularly nasty flu for which we don't have a vaccine, and we don't want 10s of thousands of people dying on us.
36000 people die every year from the "regular" flu. So, I don't worry . I wash my hands all the time anyway.
220.127.116.11, that was an old report - the one that the Sentinel refuted, saying that the swine flu test wasn't complete yet.
Charles, I think your overexaggarating a little bit, there is a much better chance of catching the flu than a major accident. An average of 3 people die each year in theme park accidents, im sure a lot more people get the flu there...
Regarding the Orlando RUMOR.
I think that the media is causing mass hysteria just to get attention and money. And I'll let you in on a little secret: according to my local radio station, the media is lying about the number of deaths due to swine flu. They claim the number is in the 150s. According to local radio, the actual death toll is a mere 7.
I live about a mile away from the Mexican border and things are getting serious over there. Soccer games are played with no one in the stands and movie theaters are closed. Whats worse is the hysteria has also crossed the river into Texas as all high school sports are being put on hold for a week. This is crazy. I'm going to Disneyland in about two weeks and I'm hoping it doesn't close down because of this.
Disneyland won't close, but the dolls in the new "Small World" are being fitted with little surgical masks.
(I bet some sucker actually will believe that comment.)
I agree that the media frenzy isn't helpful and I'm amazed at the reaction of a few idiots ( like the ones Robert spoke of avoiding Mexican restaurants....unbelievable ).
I don't think that this strain has any potential to become a serious pandemic. And I don't think it deserves a level 5 from the WHO. They probably only declared that to gain the funding to stop the little progress the virus has made around the world and still have a crapload left over.
More Disney Tourists Report Flu Like Symptoms""
I'm set to go to Disney World in July. I am concerned
Brandon S: You are right, that was a very unintelligible statement. I was thinking "swine flu", and that you were more likely to have an accident going to the park than to get the swine flu, but I said "flu". And yes, there are very few serious accidents at theme parks.
The solution is very simple....if Disney World is having issues, go to Islands Of Adventure instead....You'll have much more fun over there anyway....
We know all to well about tour groups, especially from the nation of the samba and the frevo, but what about those from Mexico?
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