Disney: No risk to visitors from employee with TB

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Disney: No risk to visitors from employee with TB

March 22, 2001 Web posted at: 12:16 p.m. EST (1716 GMT)

ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) -- There is no health risk to visitors to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, even though one employee -- a costumed character -- was diagnosed with active tuberculosis, a spokeswoman for the theme park said Thursday.

"The health department has said there's no risk to our visitors," said Diane Ledder, a Disney spokeswoman. No tests of visitors are planned, she added.

Officials with the Orange County Health Department did not immediately return calls for comment.

Health department spokesman Bill Toth said Wednesday the victim, a woman in her 20s, is under medical treatment and has been moved to a separate apartment. She was diagnosed last Friday. He said her roommates and other friends who came in close contact with her, including several other Disney employees, are also being tested for the bacterial, airborne disease.

He stressed that no visitors to Disney World would have been in danger of contracting the disease.

"It takes prolonged, very close contact," Toth said. "They (costumed characters and visitors) all meet outside, so dilution of the outside air reduces the risk, and sunlight has ultraviolet properties which kill the bacteria."

Toth also pointed out that in portraying the character the woman wore a full head mask that also had another mask over the face inside it, reducing the risk of airborne droplets escaping.

-- K (infosurf@yahoo.com), March 22, 2001

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