New Valley fever discovered
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified a new illness in the Southwest known as valley fever. The CDC defines valley fever as a fungal infection caused by breathing in the spores of a fungus called Coccidioidomycosis. According to a report from Fox News, this fungus can be found on the ground, specifically in the dirt of warm and dry places. This makes Arizona and California the states facing the highest risk. However, scientists predict heavy wind or construction activity in surrounding states can increase risk, as well. The most common symptoms include fatigue, chills and fever. The California Department for Public Health is focusing on the spread of the infection as new cases arise.
Earthquake in Turkey, Syria
Turkey experienced a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on Feb. 6 — one of only three earthquakes in the region to surpass a magnitude of 6 since 1970, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Heavy damage extended to northwestern Syria. Within 24 hours of the initial quake, aftershocks of at least a 6.0 magnitude occurred. Thousands of buildings collapsed, leaving more than 31,000 dead and more than 100,000 injured, according to a Feb. 14 statement from the World Health Organization. Because the main earthquake was relatively shallow, occurring at about 11 miles deep, the intensity of the rumbling was severe on the surface, according to the USGS. The World Health Organization released a statement that nearly 26 million people in both countries need humanitarian assistance.
Report on police violence
The death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols after a confrontation with Memphis Police on Jan. 7 has sparked another conversation about police violence across the nation. A new data analysis from Mapping Police Violence shows that U.S. law enforcement killed nearly 1,200 people in 2022. This made 2022 the deadliest year on record since 2013, the first year that experts began tracking this data nationally. Memphis Police said Nichols was initially pulled over for reckless driving. When he attempted to escape, he was beaten by five police officers from a specialized street crime unit called Scorpion, and he died in the hospital three days later. The city of Memphis released body camera and street camera footage on Jan. 24 showing the encounter. During his State of the Union address on Feb. 7, President Joe Biden noted the incident and called for more accountability.