Florida governor accidentally gives out PHONE SEX number instead of meningitis hotline… as death toll rises to 12

Read Time:4 Minute, 39 Second

By Daily Mail Reporter and Reuters Reporter

PUBLISHED:17:14 EST, 10  October 2012| UPDATED:17:15 EST, 10 October 2012

Oops: Florida Gov Rick Scott accidentally gave out phone sex number instead of the state's meningitis hotline
Oops: Florida Gov Rick Scott accidentally gave out phone  sex number instead of the state’s meningitis hotline

Florida Gov Rock Scott sent thousands of  Floridians to a dirty phone sex line when he accidentally gave out the wrong  number for the state’s fungal meningitis hotline.

Anyone who dialed the number Gov Scott  offered was greeted with a sultry woman saying: ‘Hello boys, thank you for  calling me on my anniversary.’

The humorous goof was one of the few bright spots in the outbreak of a disease that was confirmed to have claimed another life on Tuesday, bringing to death toll to 12.

The Centers for Disease Control says 137  people have been infected in ten states.

Gov Scott gave out the phone number at a  Florida cabinet meeting on Tuesday, public radio station WUSFreported.

‘You can call the Department of Health’s  toll-free, 24 hour hotline set up in response to this,’ he said, reading off a  number.

Listeners quickly called in to the station  reporting that calls to that ‘hotline’ hadn’t been quite what they expected.

The correct number, 866-523-7339, had been  posted on the state’s website. Gov Scott’s office said he simply misspoke.

The toll of the outbreak, which was tied to  contaminated steroid shots, is expected to rise even higher.

On Tuesday, four more deaths were reported  and Florida became the latest state to report at least one death linked to the  illness in a widening health scare.

Since the September 25 recall of three lots  of a steroid produced by a Massachusetts company, the outbreak has spread to 10  states and infected 137 people, according to state health departments and the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Spreading: Meningitis cases have now been reported in ten states throughout the South and Midwest

 

Spreading: Meningitis cases have now been reported in  ten states — though Tennessee still bears the brunt of the infection

Leading U.S. House and Senate lawmakers from  both parties on Tuesday asked federal health officials for briefings on the  outbreak as a first step toward possible legislative action to strengthen  federal drug safety regulations.

Oversight committees in both the Senate and  House hope to learn more about the outbreak before October 12 from staff members  of the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC, aides said.

In five states — Tennessee, Michigan,  Maryland, Virginia, and Florida — the outbreak has claimed lives, with the  latest victim a 70-year-old man in Florida.

As many as 13,000 people received the  injections to relieve back pain and other complaints and are at risk of  infection, the CDC said.

The number ultimately stricken is likely to  be far fewer.

For the first time on Tuesday, Tennessee  state health officials gave an estimate of the rate of infection among those  patients who received injections from the recalled steroid supplies.

Approximately 5 percent of patients treated  with the suspect medication in Tennessee have contracted meningitis, said Dr  David Reagan, chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of  Health.

‘We expect that most people who were exposed  to this will not develop a fungal infection,’ Reagan said.

The rate of infection overall is not  known.

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes  covering the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include headache, fever and nausea.  Fungal meningitis, unlike viral and bacterial meningitis, is not  contagious.

The outbreak has highlighted a gap in  regulation of so-called pharmacy compounders, which are facilities that take  drug ingredients and package them into medications and dosages for specific  clients.

The federal Food and Drug Administration  regulates only the ingredients and not the compounders, which are subject to a  patchwork of state oversight.

Contaminated: These vials of steroids from the New England Compounding Center are among thousands that are thought to be the source of the fungal infections
Contaminated: These vials of steroids from the New  England Compounding Center are among thousands that are thought to be the source  of the fungal infections

George Cary, whose wife Lilian Cary is one of  three women to die in the outbreak from Michigan, said Tuesday that Americans  have a strong belief in their medical and political system and the outbreak  should be a wake-up call to the nation.

‘We don’t have expectations of a faulty  regulatory medical system that allows these types of mistakes to be made,’ Cary  told reporters on his front lawn after a memorial for his wife. ‘So perhaps the  message is, wake up America.’

Some of the thousands of people exposed may  have to wait anxiously for weeks because the incubation period of the disease is  up to a month, health experts said.

In Tennessee cases, officials said they have  found the average incubation period to be 16 days, but they caution that it  could range from six to 42 days for their patients.

Tennessee health officials believe they could  still see new cases into the early part of November, though that could change as  more information is collected, officials said.

The potentially tainted steroid vials, which  have been recalled, were shipped to 76 facilities in 23 states, the CDC has  said.

Tennessee has been the hardest hit state,  with six reported deaths and 44 cases of meningitis, followed by Michigan with  three deaths and 28 cases, Virginia with one death and 27 cases and Maryland  with one death and nine cases.

The other states with cases are Indiana (15),  Florida (6), Minnesota (3), North Carolina (2), New Jersey (2) and Ohio  (1)

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2215879/Fungal-meningitis-outbreak-Florida-Gov-Rick-Scott-gives-phone-sex-line-mistake.html#ixzz28xS3Sg2C Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook



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