We have heard about it everywhere we go. The name itself strikes fear into the hearts of everyone. As of July 27, 2016, 1700 cases of the Zika virus on United States soil have been accounted. In February 2016, the first case of the Zika virus made itself aware in Georgia. There are variety of reports being made and various studies being experimented to help the general public become more aware of this outbreak. By utilizing a prevention technique that dates back to 1945 with the Dengue-Yellow Fever outbreak and working together, communities can prevent the spread of the virus in their state. In 1945, the Malaria Control in War Areas prevention group (known today as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC) publicized its campaign, It’s Up to You, to combat the Dengue-Yellow Fever outbreak which, like the Zika virus, is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. With the help of the Boy Scouts of America, a prevention technique was made more aware in the country. Stagnant water has proven to be a breeding site for container mosquitoes, such as the Aedes genus. The Boy Scouts of America throughout communities across the United States worked together with local officials to help dump out wagons, buckets and any other containers that contained stagnant water. Consequently, the rates of the Dengue-Yellow Fever outbreak decreased significantly in more rural areas. Now, 71 years later, the Aedes aegypti mosquito is transmitting the Zika virus in the United States. Communities across the country should be working together to reduce the prevalence of stagnant water in their areas
A wise man once said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” A youth’s passion can significantly improve the future of our great country. We must trust in youth, and most importantly, we must trust in ourselves. Actions are crucial to the solutions of issues that affect our youth today. We must act now in order to solve these issues.
Teamwork and understanding others are great skills that each of us must possess. The greatest health risk facing children today is having little to no public health awareness. There are factors needed to implement success in overcoming public health issues that affect youth. Youth involvement and engagement is a major component to increasing public health awareness and solving youth health issues. To solve these problems, youth must be looked at as vital citizens of society through youth-adult partnerships.
Youth organizations, such as First Aid for All, allows youth to have a voice in society and serve others through distribution of first aid supplies. With the youth from 3 different countries, First Aid for All strives to increase youth voice in public health issues. First Aid for All has partnered with other youth organizations, such as Healthy Youth for a Healthier Nation, to increase youth involvement on these issues.
By increasing public health awareness, one organization at a time, we can gather a youth army of advocates and activists for public health and policies that affect our nation’s youth. Becoming involved in this movement will allow you to become a part of a greater cause to enhance our country’s health.
Tyler Emory Tucker