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Whoops! Florida governor gives phone sex number for meningitis hotline

By Michael Peltier

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - In an embarrassing mistake, Florida Governor Rick Scott gave out a phone sex hotline number to Floridians seeking information on a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.

Scott was providing an update on the outbreak at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday when he announced what he said was the hotline's toll-free phone line, but gave out the wrong number.

The governor's office was alerted by a public radio station in Tampa, WUSF, which was monitoring the cabinet meeting and posted the number on its website.

The station said it was "quickly notified by a reader that the number instead connected to an adult telephone line."

Callers are greeted with the recording of a woman's voice saying: "Hello boys, thank you for calling me on my anniversary."

Contacted Wednesday, Scott's spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said the governor inadvertently misread the number. He was informed of the error and was able to correct himself about 20 minutes later in the same meeting.

The correct number for the Florida Fungal Meningitis Hotline is 866-523-7339, but Scott got one of the digits mixed up.

Since the outbreak began, 138 people have contracted meningitis and 12 have died, including one in Florida, according to the latest tally from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.

(Writing by David Adams; editing by Todd Eastham)

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