Universal Orlando, Disney World, and SeaWorld Entertainment will begin providing complimentary mosquito repellent beginning Sunday, August 28, 2016.
This is a direct response to the Zika virus that has been locally transmitted via mosquitos in Miami Beach and Pinellas County. Miami is roughly 204 miles away from Orlando; Pinellas County is roughly 73 miles away.
Universal Orlando informed their Team Members of the addition on Saturday night, adding that the offering is “out of an abundance of caution and for your peace of mind.” They also reminded Team Members that they have “an already aggressive, destination-wide prevention and management program” in place for “mosquito prevention and other environmental issues.”
At Universal Orlando, guests can find complimentary repellent available at guest services at CityWalk, Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida, and Wet ‘n Wild. Team Members will also be given access to repellent at all Health Services locations.
At Walt Disney World, guests can find free repellent at all theme parks, Disney Springs, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and hotel rooms.
SeaWorld will also have repellent available at all of its Florida parks, including in Tampa.
Zika infections do not typically require hospitalization and symptoms only last for up to a week. People very rarely die of Zika. Many people infected have none or mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Zika infection during pregnancy can cause birth defects and other problems. There is believed to be some kind of link between Zika and Guillain-Barré Syndrome. For more information on Zika and prevention tips, visit the CDC.
Orlando theme parks have effectively battled mosquitoes for years. The Orlando Sentinel covered Disney World’s behind the scenes mosquito prevention efforts back in 2002. Personally, I can’t recall ever being bitten by a mosquito at any Orlando theme park.