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As Florida Zika Cases Continue To Rise, Health Officials Unveil Prevention Campaign For Kids

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida health officials have unveiled a new campaign aimed at teaching kids about mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry, like the Zika virus.

With new cases reported almost every day, Florida now has more than 250 cases of Zika virus. The mosquito-borne disease can cause severe birth defects. The state also recently logged its first case of a baby born with microcephaly—a Zika-related birth defect.

And, Florida officials, including Governor Rick Scott, are looking for ways to reduce the spread.

“It’s very important that every family understands that you cannot have standing water,” said Scott, following a Zika roundtable discussion he was a part of last week. “If we are able to get rid of all the standing water, we’ll have a really good chance of controlling the spread of Zika.”

Officials say eliminating breeding sources, like standing water, around homes can prevent the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus from multiplying. It can also keep mosquitoes that carry other diseases, like dengue and Chikungunya, from increasing as well.

So, state health officials have developed a “Spill the Water” campaign aimed at kids, pre-K to high school. The goal is to educate them in a fun way to not only cover up, but to help fight by literally “spilling the water” around their homes and yards.

The mosquito prevention campaign includes posters, activities that parents and teachers can use, and even a 30-second PSA called “Spill-The-Water Heroes.”

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