Friday, February 12, 2016

State of Florida creates Zika Virus hotline to keep panic at bay

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 6:16 PM

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Today, Gov. Rick Scott announced that there's a new Zika Virus Hotline where people who are worried about Zika can call and talk to a real live person about what's going on with the virus in the state. 

We called the hotline tonight – the number is 855-622-6735 – and a reassuring tech informed us that although there have been 20 cases of Zika diagnosed in Florida so far, all have been traveling-related cases. No cases diagnosed to date have originated in Florida. She also suggested that people call their county departments of health (here's the website for Orange County) for updates on information about local efforts to curb Zika, mosquito-control efforts, etc. She said the hotline will be answered by a live operator Monday through Friday, but on weekends and evenings it may go to an on-call service. 

According to the state, as of today, Zika has been diagnosed in the following counties: Hillsborough (3 cases), Miami-Dade (7 cases), Lee (3 cases) Santa Rosa (1 case), Broward (3 case), St. Johns (1 case), Osceola (1 case), and Alachua (1 case).  

Zika is mostly spread by mosquitoes, but it can also be transmitted during sex. According to the CDC, Florida currently has diagnosed the most cases of Zika (so far), followed by Texas. 

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