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DISNEY WORKER DIES OF MENINGITIS

A 22-year-old Walt Disney World employee died of bacterial meningitis, but health officials said they were not concerned that guests might have contracted the rare disease.

The death Sunday night of Mark Lynn Burke II was the second of a Central Florida resident blamed on the disease in less than two weeks. He worked as a costumed character in the Magic Kingdom.

Health officials said they believe there is no chance that any Disney visitors were exposed to meningitis, in part because of a protective mesh lining inside the costume heads.

Disney spokeswoman Diane Ledder would not specify which characters Burke played for fear it would needlessly alarm visitors.

Officials said they could find no connection between Burke's death and that of Damaris J. Martinez, 12, a seventh-grader who died March 17 while visiting relatives in the Dominican Republic.

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