Cartoon campaign teaches children about Zika virus

Popular cartoon characters help educate young people about how to prevent mosquito bites and identify breeding grounds

A Zika virus prevention campaign aimed at children and young people is using some of their favourite cartoon characters to get the message across.

Mission Zika, which features popular Cartoon Network characters and was launched in partnership with UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), is a series of public service announcements that aim to educate children about the disease.

Using characters such as the Powerpuff Girls and Ben 10, the short videos encourage children to cover up to prevent mosquito bites, as well as be alert to potential breeding grounds for the insects.

The campaign urges 'young superheroes' to use mosquito nets and insect repellent spray, and get adults to install screens in doors and windows in their homes if possible.

PAHO director Carissa F. Etienne said: 'Our most important tool to combat Zika – and at the same time, dengue and chikungunya – is control of the Aedes mosquitoes that live in and around houses and bite people.'

The World Health Organization has committed to supporting health authorities in countries affected by Zika to control mosquito populations, so the spread of the disease can be prevented.