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2014 Rabies Awareness and Prevention Poster Contest by Texas DSHS

Rabies.

We’ve all heard of it. We know it’s bad. But how much do you know about it?

The Texas Department of Safety and Health Services Zoonosis Control Branch has just announced their 2014 Rabies Awareness & Prevention Poster Contest to help spread the message about rabies in Texas.

From their announcement:

“Rabies is endemic in Texas; bats and skunks are the most commonly affected species. Private residences and school grounds are the most common locations in Texas for exposure to rabid bats. Bat bites are not always noticeable and many people are unaware that exposure to bats poses a risk – most of these rabies exposures are preventable through education. Involving kids in a poster contest is a great way to instill the importance of vaccinating pets against rabies and avoiding contact with high-risk animals. The Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control Branch will be conducting the 6th annual statewide “Rabies Awareness & Prevention Poster Contest” for Pre-K through 8th grade. The deadline for poster submissions is April 14, 2014. Prizes will be provided by the Zach Jones Memorial Fund (http://www.zachjonesmemorial.org/).”

Let’s take a closer look.

First – What does zoonosis mean?

That’s an easy one! A zoonosis is a disease that can be passed from animals to humans. Rabies is a zoonosis because humans can catch rabies from the saliva of an animal already infected with the disease.

What does rabies look like?

Rabies is a teeny, tiny, microscopic virus that looks like this under the microscope:

rabies from Standford UniversityPhoto credit: Stanford University

Looks boring doesn’t it?

Well it isn’t!

It is a deadly disease that can affect your nervous system (brain and nerves) and there is no cure for it.

So how can we avoid rabies? By getting to know more about it!

First we should avoid the wild mammals that are most likely to have rabies in Texas, such as skunks, foxes, raccoons, coyotes, and bats.

“Awww … But they are so cute and fuzzy!! I just want to touch them once!”

Just one bite from an animal infected with rabies can transfer it to you – don’t touch wild animals.

What can you do as a kid  if you see a bat? Do not touch it! Let an adult or teacher know right away.

But I am the adult/teacher … You can call your local animal control department and they will come out to remove it.

 

We have protected ourselves, but how can we protect our pets?

Get your pets (dogs, cats, and even ferrets!) vaccinated against rabies according to your vet’s recommendations. Keep up with the vaccinations as well! There are 1 year and 3 year vaccines so make sure you check with your vet to see which your furry family member has.

There are even rabies vaccinations for horses and farm animals!

Make sure to keep your pets away from wild animals as well – keep them on a leash at all times when you are out for walks.

Now what does this have to do with a contest?

If you are Pre-K through 8th grade you may enter a poster contest to spread awareness about the rabies virus in Texas. You can be as creative as you want!

Contest Info: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/rabies/information/contest/

Some pointers:

Your drawing must be ORIGINAL – created just by you!

The information needs to be ACCURATE – do your research!

The poster should be at least 8 ½ x 11 inches or larger but no bigger than 11 x 17 inches.

The fewer words the better, and make sure all words are spelled correctly.

Entries are due April 14, 2014.

Need some ideas? Here is a list of previous winners and their posters: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/rabies/information/contest/winners/

Have fun and thank YOU for helping spread rabies awareness!!

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