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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott opens Zika hotline after 20 cases confirmed in Florida



Gov. Rick Scott and Surgeon General John Armstrong are continuing their Zika offensive, unveiling a hotline Friday for Floridians to call with questions.

The phone number — 855-622-6735 — is staffed by Department of Health workers who will “answer questions and advise callers on what steps they can take to protect their homes and families from Zika,” Scott said in a statement.

Since the revelation last week that some Floridians have been infected with the virus while travelling abroad, Zika has been at the heart of the administration’s public health messaging.

In a press conference Feb. 4, Scott compared the state’s Zika response to preparation for a hurricane. He issued a public health emergency, a rare decision.

Twenty cases have been confirmed in the state.

None of those involved pregnant women, whose babies may be at higher risk to deformities if infected and none were transmitted within Florida.

The number of cases has grown from nine since Scott declared the state of emergency more than a week ago.

[Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2016 12:36pm]


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