Dozens of people became ill after visiting Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Wild Africa Trek in early June, but so far, health officials have been unable to find out why, according to information from the Orange County Health Department (OCHD).
The Animal Kingdom Wild Africa Trek is the only part of the park associated with the illnesses, other park venues are not part to the investigation. Most of the illnesses occurred over a two-day period during the first week of June. Symptoms included diarrhea, abdominal pain and fatigue. The length of illness ranged from two to five days. None of those who became ill required hospitalization.
The investigation into the illness cluster is ongoing and OCHD officials are still trying to determine a cause or source of the outbreak. Two restaurants that provide food to the Wild Africa Trek were inspected and no issues of concern were discovered. No one who went on the tour had any contact with animals.
Hundreds of people who went on the tour have been interviewed and OCHD epidemiologists are continuing to interview others. So far, stool sample tests have not been positive for any pathogens.
The Wild Africa Trek is a three-hour tour “featuring close encounters with exotic wildlife species,” according to the website. “Adventurers are fitted with an expedition harness that attaches to an overhead track. Once your group reaches the riverbank, get a stunning look at the hippos, just 10 feet below. After a seemingly precarious trek across a rope bridge dangling over a throng of enormous crocodiles, experience another unbelievable view as you hang over the crocs’ riverbed lair!”
In response to the illness cluster, Disney World deep cleaned surfaces on the tour and emphasized to guests and employees the importance of good hand washing and hygiene.