Zika Hotline Closes As Reported Cases Of The Virus Decline

Jan 2, 2018

With less of a threat, the state of Florida has discontinued its Zika virus hotline.

Alison Hewitt with the Duval County Health Department said during a Jacksonville City Council committee meeting Tuesday, the decreased number of cases can be attributed to preventative measures, including the department’s partnering with OBGYNs to educate women that Zika can be sexually transmitted.

In addition, she points to “intense education about dumping water, especially around households because the mosquito that carries Zika does not have a very far travel range and so a lot of folks we saw dumping [water].”

Hewitt said some partnerships were also formed with elected officials who implemented standing water restrictions for businesses.

With the hotline shut down, people calling the health department with questions about Zika will be directed to the state’s Zika website, Hewitt said.

According to that site, Florida had almost 1,500 Zika cases in 2016 — about 300 of them transmitted within the state. The number of cases dropped to 241 in 2017, with just two transmitted within Florida.

Photo used under Creative Commons.

Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at lkilbride@wjct.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.