ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The State Department of Health is launching a new social media video contest, aimed at informing college students about monkeypox and how to stop the spread. Students and student associations in New York State colleges, universities, and graduate schools are invited to produce up to a 15-second video for social media, educating other students about the transmission, dangers, and prevention of monkeypox.
“Hearing from other students through social media videos is a unique way for college students to stay informed about monkeypox so they understand the symptoms, how it spreads, and what to do if they are exposed,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “It’s particularly important to remind college-aged students that anyone can get monkeypox, so campuses should communicate that monkeypox is a public health concern for everyone and how to prevent transmission of this virus.”
While anyone can get monkeypox, since its outbreak in May, the virus has mostly spread between cisgender and transgender gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
Commissioner Bassett noted that the Department will select six winners—first, second, and third place—in the categories of live-action and animation from the submissions received between October 24, 2022, and November 28, 2022. Submissions will be closed by midnight on November 29.
The winning videos will be featured on the State Department of Health’s social media platforms to help spread the word about monkeypox. Prizes of Amazon, grocery, or gas gift cards will be awarded in each category. First-prize winners will be given $500 gift cards, while second and third place videos will win $300 and $200, respectively.
Full contest rules and eligibility can be found on the State Department of Health website. In addition to the video contest, New Yorkers can sign up for text messages—which will include alerts about cases, symptoms, spread, and resources for testing and vaccination—by texting “MONKEYPOX” to 81336 or “MONKEYPOXESP” for texts in Spanish. By providing a zip code, New Yorkers can also opt-in for location-based messages.