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

SpillTheWater0705.jpg
Florida Department of Health's youtube

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.”

For more information, visit spillthewater.com.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.