D.C. launches ‘Fight the Bite’ campaign against Zika

D.C. Department of Health hands out mosquito kits at the Bald Eagle Recreation Center in Southwest, Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 14, 2016 as part of a District-wide 'Fight the Bite' public health campaign against Zika. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

WASHINGTON — As part of its new Fight the Bite campaign, D.C.’s Department of Health distributed mosquito prevention kits to recreational centers in each of D.C.’s eight wards on Saturday.

The District is trying to get out in front of Zika. Summer will be here soon, which means more mosquitoes — and the threat of the Zika virus. Department of Health spokesman Marcus Williams said many residents think that the main prevention is to avoid from being bitten, but getting rid of standing water is also key.

The 1,449 kits were given out on Saturday contained EPA-approved bug repellent, condoms and “larvicidal dunks” that can be used in standing water to interrupt the life-cycles of mosquitos, Williams said.

Vanessa Gordon said she wasn’t too worried about what summer might bring, but she attended a Fight the Bite community event at the Bald Eagle Recreation Center in Southwest in order to find out more about Zika.

“I want to get the education, not the hysteria,” Gordon said.

Williams said that during the summer months residents can report high populations of mosquitoes and high standing water to the health department, where people can also pick up mosquito kits.

A second District-wide Fight the Bite event is scheduled for July 16.

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