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Theme Parks Confront Flu Jitters

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For many Americans, the fear of swine flu has made everyday acts like going to work, going to school or getting on a plane feel fraught with danger — even more so since President Obama recently declared swine flu a national emergency.

Now, even Mickey Mouse is being looked at with suspicion.

With their international visitors, crowded conditions and touchy-feely interaction among guests and dressed-up storybook characters, theme parks like Walt Disney World and Disneyland are being viewed as the perfect petri dishes for the H1N1 virus by some worried travelers.

Disney fans’ discussion boards are buzzing about the fears of transmission and whether some people are putting their fellow vacationers at risk. One visitor recently wrote on DISBoards.com, an online forum for Disney fans, “I just got back last night, and I did notice that there were a few people running around Disney World with what seemed to be more than a little cold.” The discussion came under the heading: “Please do NOT go to Disney World if you (or your children) are sick.”
 
 

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