On August 6, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center released updated information on 2013 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters and several new tools to assist users in analyzing the data. These new features allow users to better explore the type, frequency and cost of U.S. billion-dollar events by state and year, from 1980 to 2013.
Based on updated financial information, NOAA is adding two new disasters to the 2013 total to include an Illinois Flooding and Severe Weather that occurred April 16-19, 2013, and a Midwest Severe Weather event that occurred August 6-7, 2013. This brings the total number of 2013 billion-dollar weather and climate events to nine. The estimated cost of damages from these events is $23 billion dollars.
NOAA also reanalyzed the entire period of record to examine events that were close to $1 billion threshold. Based on this reanalysis, 17 were added events to the entire period of record dating back to 1980, including several drought in the early part of the record.
The Ebola outbreak has been spreading through Liberia with alarming speed — more than 780 cases, with 100 identified over a recent two-day period. Yet for weeks there have been only two places in the country where patients could get medical care, one in the country’s rural north and one in the capital, Monrovia.
Doctors Without Borders has now opened a third facility.
The new center sits in the middle of a vast, muddy field on the outskirts of Monrovia. Orange mesh fencing surrounds long white tents. The facility has only been open for an hour and already about a dozen men, women and children are waiting outside. They had arrived hours earlier, dispersed when it began raining heavily and then returned.
"I’ve been trying to find them for the last hour or two but thankfully they’ve come back and we’ll screen them," says Brett Adamson, the coordinator of the center. Like everyone here, he’s soaking wet. He looks over at the people in line and says there’s a good possibility many of them have Ebola.
"These are patients that have been to the existing facility and [there was] no space," Adamson says. "They’ve essentially been turned away, and they’ve been waiting for us to open."
Top Photo: A man sits on a bed that will be part a new Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, run by Doctors Without Borders.
Bottom Photo: A nurse dons protective gear before entering the new Ebola treatment facility in Monrovia.
Electromagnetism can detect AIDS. The “Complete Cure Device” can wipe out the virus.
The Egyptian military made those claims earlier this year, but now they have backtracked after the announcement was widely denounced by scientists, including Egypt’s own science adviser.
Nonetheless, people are still eager to believe the unbelievable. Egypt’s announcement prompted 70,000 people to send emails asking to try the new treatment.
The Complete Cure Device is just one more false promise in the ongoing fight against AIDS. It is a reminder, too, that for 15 years, beginning in the early 1980s, AIDS was a slaughter, shrouded in mystery, of people in the prime of their lives.
Then came a breakthrough in 1996: A combination of drugs could control the virus, allowing infected people to live long and productive lives. Today, antiretroviral treatment for HIV and AIDS is widely available. An outright cure still eludes scientists, but the once deadly disease has become manageable.
So any claim for an unproven cure, offering hope that could deter patients from effective treatment, is cruel. But myths, false claims and outright fraud have persisted in the AIDS epidemic.
Photo: Over a decade ago, rumors spread in South Africa that sex with a virgin could cure HIV/AIDS. In 2001, 150 people gathered in Cape Town to protest the rape of children and even babies, allegedly as a result of belief in this canard. (Anna Zieminski/AFP/Getty Images)
Nursing in Public laws by State. Is it legal where you live?
This slideshow is part of a multimedia package, published by Al Jazeera America. To view the article, video and slideshow together, visit Al Jazeera online. Below is an excerpt from the full article.
Tuberculosis, or TB, is the world’s second-deadliest infectious disease and kills 1.4 million people every year, according to the World Health Organization. While its bacteria are easily transmitted through the air, the disease can be readily treated and cured. Yet much of the world lacks sufficient treatment.
That’s the case in Vietnam. The country is successful at treating patients once diagnosed, but prevention and detection efforts are poor. Nearly half of TB cases go undetected, a main reason that the disease is responsible for some 18,000 deaths a year — nearly twice as many as automobile accidents.
(From The Pulitzer Center)
(From Food and Drug Administration, FDA)
When it comes to protecting themselves from HIV, women need more options.
About 84 percent of all women diagnosed with HIV contract the virus through heterosexual sex. And right now, the female condom is the only contraception available that stops HIV — and is controlled by the woman. These devices can be hard to find and tough to use.
Now engineers at the University of Washington in Seattle have come up with an experimental technologythat may one day make HIV protection for women as easy as using a tampon.
For years, scientists have been developing gels or creams that contain anti-HIV drugs known as microbicides. But these topical ointments can be problematic. They’re messy to apply. They can leak. And the medication absorbs slowly, so women have to use the gels or creams at least 20 minutes before sex.
A new delivery method could solve all these problems, say bioengineers Cameron Ball and Kim Woodrow. The secret? An electrically spun fabric.
Photo: Better than Egyptian cotton: This electrically spun fabric contains anti-HIV drugs and dissolves rapidly when it gets wet. (Courtesy of University of Washington)
It is easy to romanticize a life with limited connectivity: candles, campfires and conversations. And how creative of the Ugandans to keep their insulin floating in a ceramic pot buried in the dirt. But the reality is that the only difference between the boy in southwest Uganda and the boy in anytown, USA is one was born powerless, the other empowered at birth. The Oxford dictionary defines power as “the ability or capacity to do something.” It is how things get done.
"The future of humanity is increasingly African."
That’s the prediction in a new UNICEF report, which estimates that by the end of this century, 40 percent of the world’s people will be African – up from 15 percent now. The continent’s population currently sits at roughly 1.2 billion but will soar to more than 4 billion by 2100. Nearly a billion will live in Nigeria alone.
In a report released Wednesday, UNICEF projected the growth of Africa’s child population within the next century. And the numbers are staggering.
An estimated 1.8 billion births will take place in Africa in the next 35 years, the authors predict. By 2050, Africa will have almost a billion children under 18, making up nearly 40 percent of kids worldwide.
Lead author David Anthony tells NPR’s Melissa Block on All Things Considered that even the researchers were surprised by the findings. “[We] knew that the world’s population was swinging toward Africa,” he says. “But there have been new estimates released by the U.N. population division … that shows an even stronger swing than we have anticipated.”
Fertility rates have fallen in Africa but remain high compared to the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the number of women of reproductive age has grown enormously and is set to more than double in the next 35 years.
Image: With high fertility rates among woman and slowing child mortality, Africa’s population will swell to more than 4 billion by the end of this century. (Courtesy of UNICEF)