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Elmo Stars in New PSA on How to Prevent Spread of Zika Virus

In an unusual but interesting—and adorable—way to educate Latin American kids and parents about Zika virus, Elmo will star in two 30-second public service announcements to be aired in Latin American and the Caribbean.

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The PSAs will be available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and feature both Elmo and a teal muppet named Raya. In one video, Raya and Elmo teach a quick lesson on how to prevent mosquitos. Raya explains to Elmo that the first step is to not leave buckets, bottles or other receptacles that can accumulate water. She tells Elmo to cover any water reservoirs to keep mosquitos from breeding too. And another tip: Raya tells Elmo not to let trash pile up, and always keep the trash can covered so mosquitos can't breed in the trash either.

In another video, Elmo is swatting mosquitos and Raya tells him there's a better way to protect himself than using a fly swatter. She tells him to remember to use bug spray as well as wear long sleeves and pants, and that you can keep mosquitos out of the house by installing screens on windows so you can still enjoy the breeze.

At the end of the PSAs, Elmo and Raya remind viewers, "¡Si el mosquito no te pica, adiós Zika!" (That is, "If the mosquito doesn't bite you, you can say goodbye to Zika!")

Elmo isn't new to the health-related PSA game; first lady Michelle Obama has also worked with the Muppets to promote healthy eating and exercise as part of her "Let's Move!" initiative, and Elmo also appeared in PSAs with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to explain how vaccines work and why children need them.

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