Welcome to the State of California 


Date: 8/18/2010 

Number: 10-059 

Contact: Al Lundeen or Melinda McRae Beer - (916) 440-7259 


With messages to “Fight the Bite,” three California students today were awarded top prizes in a national poster contest to combat diseases spread by mosquito and tick bites, such as West Nile virus infection.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director Dr. Mark Horton presented the awards at the State Capitol. The contest is co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the DEET Education Program. California students took the top national award and two state prizes.

“With an increase in West Nile virus infections this year, it is crucial to spread the word on practical ways to avoid insect bites and prevent disease,” said CDPH Director Dr. Mark Horton. “These students should be commended for reminding us all about the simple but life-saving prevention steps to avoid insect-borne disease.”

The California winners include:

·        Devayani Varma, who attends Marguerite
Montgomery Elementary in Davis, won the national fifth-grade grand prize and received a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond and framed certificate;

·        Hannah Berenjfoorosh, who is home schooled in San Jose, won the state of California fifth-grade prize and received a $50 bond and award certificate; and

·        Arnon Erba, who is home schooled in Davis, won
the State of California sixth-grade prize, and also received a $50 bond and award certificate.

Public health educators and school nurses are being encouraged to include the posters in their educational materials (http://www.fightthebitecontest.org/

Strategies to avoid insect bites and prevent disease include using repellent, wearing clothes that reduce skin exposure, and eliminating standing water around the house to reduce mosquitoes breeding.  More information can be found at www.westnile.ca.gov and http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/

Last modified on: 8/18/2010 12:31 PM