Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits Cyprus.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Mongol-Ningxia border, China.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of central Peru.

5.0 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Oregon, USA – Four vehicles were damaged when a tornado briefly touched down at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon.

Disease

Deadly diseases are making a comeback

For those of us who live in the sanitized safety of our shiny, seemingly germ-free world of hand sanitizers, wet wipes, and anti-bacterial everything, it’s sometimes hard to imagine diseases that have been all but eradicated in the last few decades ever making a comeback.

At the beginning of the 20th century, life expectancy in the United States was 47 years, and today’s newborns are expected to live 79 years.

However, in recent years, some of the deadly diseases that we thought were the stuff of history books are back with a vengeance in many parts of the world — and not just in developing countries. Why are preventable diseases making a comeback?

In the U.S., a recent outbreak of measles has been linked to a rise in unvaccinated children. Up to 40 percent of American parents are either delaying or skipping vaccinations, according to a study published by the medical journal Pediatrics in May last year. Parents subscribing to the anti-vaccination movement ignore the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s calls for vaccination, thanks in part to a now-debunked study linking vaccines to autism.

Elsewhere, the resurgence of certain diseases isn’t just about the choices of parents — in some cases, outbreaks are yet another deadly cost of war.

War-ravaged Syria saw its first case of polio in 14 years in October 2013 as vaccination rates in the country sank to 52 percent. Aid agencies came together to fight the outbreak, vaccinating one million children, but approximately 80,000 Syrian children still haven’t been vaccinated for polio, according to UNICEF.

So far, only one human disease has been completely eradicated: small pox. Now, we find ourselves battling outbreaks of diseases we thought we had defeated years ago. Here are some of them:

Measles

Around the world, this contagious and deadly disease is the leading cause of death among young people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The group reported 145,700 deaths in 2013 — which comes to 400 deaths every day or 16 deaths every hour.

A vaccine against the disease was introduced in 1963, slashing measles cases by 99 percent. Now, in 17 U.S. states, vaccination rates for preschoolers sit below 90 percent, and 91 percent nationally. That has meant the disease’s reemergence, despite easy access to the vaccine. The U.S. saw an average in 63 measles cases per year between 2000 and 2007. By 2013, the incidence of measles tripled.

Whooping cough

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is yet another disease that’s made a comeback in recent years, and the anti-vaccination movement isn’t the only reason why.

The highly infectious disease, which causes violent fits of coughing that result in passing out, vomiting, and even broken ribs, was eradicated almost entirely in 1976. There were only 1,010 cases of the disease back then. Around 28,660 cases of whooping cough were reported to CDC in 2014 — an 18 percent increase from 2013. It’s just as contagious as measles, and way more contagious than Ebola. California last year faced its worst outbreak of the disease in 70 years.

Scarlet fever

If you’ve read Little Women, or you’ve at least watched the episode of Friends when Joey attempts to read it, you know that the novel’s saddest moment is probably the death of kind and sweet Beth, the youngest of the March sisters. Beth contracts scarlet fever, and even though she survives at first, the disease leaves her weak and she eventually dies.

It’s a disease that starts out much like strep throat, but eventually develops into a fever, a large red rash on the body, and a tongue the shade of strawberries. It’s easily treated with antibiotics. If it’s left untreated, it can cause some serious health issues.

It’s a disease that starts out much like strep throat, but eventually develops into a fever, a large red rash on the body, and a tongue the shade of strawberries. It’s easily treated with antibiotics. If it’s left untreated, it can cause some serious health issues.

The UK is currently seeing its worst outbreak of the disease in half a century, with 1,265 cases registered since the start of 2015.

Polio

It was once one of the most feared diseases in the U.S., killing an average of more than 35,000 people each year between the late 1940s and early 1950s, according to the CDC. Even President Franklin D Roosevelt bore the scars of this crippling disease, which paralyzed him in the early 1920s and nearly cost him his political career.

Its characteristic symptoms — stunted legs and paralysis — were first recorded in an ancient Egyptian illustration of a victim. It’s a disease that humans have been dealing with for a pretty long time.

Since 1988, polio cases have decreased by over 99 percent. However, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria still struggle to control the spread of the deadly disease both domestically and internationally. In 2013, WHO declared the dangerously rampant spread of polio an international public health emergency after nearly 60 percent of polio infections during 2013 were spread through adult travelers.

It can only be prevented through vaccination, and so far, there’s no cure.

Bubonic plague

It was known as the “Black Death” during the 14th century, and back then the devastating pandemic wiped out a third of Europe’s population.

It’s a bacterial disease that reaches humans via the bites of infected rodents or fleas. People infected develop swolen lymph nodes and eventually pneumonia, which means that it can be passed along by coughing or sneezing.

It’s been virtually eradicated in the developed world, but according to the WHO, there were 783 reported cases and 126 deaths caused by the plague worldwide in 2013.

In Madagascar, the bubonic plague has killed 71 people and infected 263 since September. Last summer, parts of Yumen, a city in northwestern China, were sealed off and 30,000 confined to their neighborhoods after the disease killed a local man.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Hekla (Iceland): Small earthquake swarms occurred at shallow depths during the past days near the volcano. The quakes were located approx. 6-10 km south of Hekla volcano and at shallow depths around 5 km. The largest quakes were two magnitude 2.6 events at 4 km depth on Thursday (9 April). It is impossible to say whether the earthquakes are linked to volcanic activity and thus might be precursors of a new eruption, but Hekla is probably the most likely candidate volcano for the next eruption to occur on Iceland. One of the country’s most active, and the most frequently erupting volcano, Hekla has been believed to be “due” and have its magma chamber filled for several years now. Known for not giving much precursory signals (and only few earthquakes), an eruption would not be a surprise at all.

Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): After less than two weeks pause, the volcano started to erupt again – mild strombolian explosions at the summit crater and small ash emissions. KVERT raised the alert level again to yellow and noted that seismic activity has also shown an increase recently.