Disney's cuddly anthropomorphic mascots may lose their appeal after a confirmed outbreak of rabies near the Florida theme park.

Guests of the Epcot Disney World are being warned to be on high alert for the disease and avoid contact with wildlife, following a case near the park last week.

Florida Department of Health in Orange Country has issued a 60-day warning for the disease after a feral cat was found to be carrying rabies, according to the Miami Herald.

The area with a three-kilometre radius covered by the alert includes many of the resort's hotels and both Disney's Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

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The Department of Health told Newsweek that two Disney employees had been screened for the disease, after coming into contact with the rabid cat. Both cast members have since been discharged and have returned to work.

However, the park's visitors and employees are still on high alert for rabid animals.
"Contact with feral cats, stray dogs and all wildlife particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes should be avoided," Florida's Department of Health warned those visiting the park.

Signs warn visitors to Disney World of alligators and snakes. These reptiles cannot carry Rabies. Photo / Getty Images
Signs warn visitors to Disney World of alligators and snakes. These reptiles cannot carry Rabies. Photo / Getty Images

The disease is spread through the saliva of mammals and humans can contract the disease through bites from infected animals.

If untreated, cases of rabies can be fatal.

Disney's 1957 film Old Yeller, raised awareness for the disease in a generation of moviegoers after telling the story of a family dog that fights off a pack of rabid wolves.

However, domestic dogs and cats are not usually carriers.

Since 1960, of 89 incidents of humans contracting the disease in the USA, 62 (70 per-cent) of cases were attributed to bats.

Among the dangerous animals already known to live in the Florida resort are snakes and alligators. In 2016, two-year-old Lane Graves was killed in an alligator attack at the Magical Kingdom area of the park.

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However, as reptiles, these animals cannot carry rabies.