PINON, Ariz. - Cattarina Chase, a sixth grader this past year at Pinon Accelerated Middle School in Pinon, is the Arizona state winner in a national poster contest. She has won $50 for creatively depicting why and how Pinon and surrounding communities should "Fight the Bite."
The contest (www.fightthebitecontest.org) is sponsored annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the DEET Education Program. The teacher who assisted Cattarina with her contest entry is Lea Elder.
A panel of judges reviewed the entries and selected two grand prizewinners - one from each grade - who will receive $1,000 and an award certificate. The judges also chose state winners for fifth grade and sixth grade, who will receive $50 and certificate. The contest judges included Susan Little, Executive Director of Consumer Specialty Products Association; Emily Zielinski-Gutierrez, DrPH, Behavioral Scientist, CDC; Ken August, development director, National Public Health Information Coalition; Jacques Colon, program associate, National Association of County and City Health Officials; Joe Conlon, technical advisor, American Mosquito Control Association; Sandi Delack, RN, president, National Association of School Nurses; John Jacob, risk communications manager, Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and Lyle Petersen, MD, MPH, director of CDC's vector-borne disease division
The poster contest adopted the CDC's "Fight the Bite" slogan to emphasize the need to avoid mosquito and tick bites because of the many diseases they can convey to humans, such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease. The winning posters are online at www.fightthebitecontest.org. The images are being shared nationally with public health educators and school nurses. The contest sponsors plan to incorporate the posters in future educational materials.
The "Fight the Bite" program includes recommendations to remove standing water near homes to help eliminate mosquito breeding places, wear long sleeves and long pants when outside, avoid being out at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, and wear an EPA-registered insect repellent, such as those containing DEET. More information about diseases from mosquito and tick bites, repellent use and other prevention strategies such as landscape modification to discourage ticks can be found at www.cdc.gov/westnile and www.cdc.gov/lyme.
The DEET Education Program (www.deetonline.org) is supported by Clariant Corp., S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., 3M Company and Vertellus Health and Specialties Inc.