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Zika Cases 2015/2016 United States, Territories, Canada

Map of imported and locally acquired Zika virus in United States, territories, and Canada.

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Other Viruses Cause Zika-Like Damage to Fetuses, Study Finds

           

Zika's blood-sucking predator

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Zika virus–related neurotropic flaviviruses infect human placental explants and cause fetal demise in mice

cnn.com - by Susan Scutti - February 18, 2018

In 2016, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the Zika virus caused birth defects in babies born to women who had been infected while pregnant. This was the first mosquito-borne disease known to cause birth defects . . . 

 . . . Now, a study suggests that two viruses that are related to Zika can cause similar birth defects.

West Nile and Powassan viruses caused fetal death in infected pregnant mice, the researchers say.

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CLICK HERE - NEJM - Zika Virus and Birth Defects — Reviewing the Evidence for Causality

 

 

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Seas to Rise About a Meter Even if Climate Goals Are Met - Study

           

FILE PHOTO: Uninhabitable apartments, in danger of collapsing into the Pacific Ocean, line Esplanade Ave. in Pacifica, California January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Noah Berger/File Photo

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Committed sea-level rise under the Paris Agreement and the legacy of delayed mitigation action

reuters.com - Alister Doyle - February 20, 2018

Sea levels will rise between 0.7 and 1.2 meters (27-47 inches) in the next two centuries even if governments end the fossil fuel era as promised under the Paris climate agreement, scientists said on Tuesday.

Early action to cut greenhouse gas emissions would limit the long-term rise, driven by a thaw of ice from Greenland to Antarctica that will re-draw global coastlines, a German-led team wrote in the journal Nature Communications . . .

 . . . By 2300, the report projected that sea levels would gain by 0.7-1.2 meters, even if almost 200 nations fully meet goals under the 2015 Paris Agreement, which include cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in the second half of this century . . . 

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Valuing the Resilience Provided by Solar and Battery Energy Storage Systems

submitted by John Cooper

                                     

cleanegroup.org

Summary:

Researchers from NREL and Clean Energy Group found that placing a monetary value on the ability of solar+storage to avoid losses during grid outages can significantly impact project economics and system design. Using data from Southern California Edison, researchers analyzed the economic case for solar+storage for three customer types (school, office building, and hotel) in Anaheim, California. In each case analyzed, larger PV and battery storage systems were found to be economical when the value of resilience is accounted for.

CLICK HERE - Valuing the Resilience Provided by Solar and Battery Energy Storage Systems

 

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Zika Linked to a Spike in Birth Defects in the U.S.

CLICK HERE - CDC - MMWR - Population-Based Surveillance of Birth Defects Potentially Related to Zika Virus Infection — 15 States and U.S. Territories, 2016

time.com - by Alexandra Sifferlin - January 25, 2018

Areas in the United States where Zika spread locally, like Florida and Texas, experienced a spike in birth defects.

According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), areas in South Florida, parts of Texas and Puerto Rico saw a 21% increase in birth defects strongly linked with Zika in the last half of 2016, compared to the first part of the year.

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CLICK HERE - CDC - NEWSROOM RELEASE - More birth defects seen in parts of U.S. with local Zika spread

 

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2017 U.S. billion-dollar weather and climate disasters: a historic year in context

           

This map depicts the general location of the sixteen weather and climate disasters assessed to cause at least one billion dollars in direct damages during 2017.

climate.gov - by Adam B. Smith - January 8, 2018

NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) tracks U.S. weather and climate events that have great economic and societal impacts (www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions). Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 219 weather and climate disasters where the overall damage costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index, as of December 2017). The cumulative costs for these 219 events exceed $1.5 trillion.

During 2017, the U.S. experienced a historic year of weather and climate disasters.  In total, the U.S. was impacted by 16 separate billion-dollar disaster events including: three tropical cyclones, eight severe storms, two inland floods, a crop freeze, drought and wildfire.

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It's Early in the Flu Season, but It's Shaping Up to Be a Nasty One

           

cbsnews.com - by Jonathan Lapook - December 26, 2017

As the holiday season continues, the U.S. is also entering peak flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 650,000 people worldwide could die from complications of the flu . . .

 . . . It's very early in the flu season but it's shaping up to be a nasty one. Texas is one of 23 states already seeing high flu activity, more than double the number from the week before.

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CLICK HERE - Texas Department of State Health Services - 2017 - 2018 Texas Influenza Surveillance Activity Report

CLICK HERE - CDC - FluView - Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

CLICK HERE - TEXASFLU.org

 

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Humidity May Prove Breaking Point for Some Areas as Temperatures Rise, Says Study

           

Large swaths of the tropics and beyond may see crushing combinations of heat and humidity in coming decades, according to a new study.  Credit: Ethan Coffel

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Temperature and humidity based projections of a rapid rise in global heat stress exposure during the 21st century

sciencedaily.com - Source: The Earth Institute at Columbia University - December 22, 2017

Summary: Climate scientists say that killer heat waves will become increasingly prevalent in many regions as climate warms. However, most projections leave out a major factor that could worsen things: humidity, which can greatly magnify the effects of heat alone. Now, a new global study projects that in coming decades the effects of high humidity in many areas will dramatically increase.

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U.S. Study Sheds Light on How Zika Causes Nerve Disorder

           

FILE PHOTO: An aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured on a leaf in San Jose, Costa Rica February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate/File Photo

CLICK HERE - STUDY - CDC - EID - Postmortem Findings in Patient with Guillain-Barré Syndrome and Zika Virus Infection

reuters.com - by Julie Steenhuysen - December 13, 2017

A new study sheds light on how the mosquito-borne Zika virus causes a rare neurological condition, and the findings could have implications for companies working on Zika vaccines, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday . . .

 . . . To study the nerve disorder, Dr. Tyler Sharp of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dengue Branch in San Juan and colleagues in Puerto Rico examined the rare case of a 78-year-old man from San Juan who had been infected with Zika in 2016, developed Guillain-Barre and subsequently died.

An autopsy showed inflammation and erosion of the protective sheath known as myelin in two nerves, but no evidence of the Zika virus in nerve cells.

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