The Stream, October 18: Stagnant Water a Risk Factor as Zika Virus Spreads in India

The Global Rundown

Officials in Rajasthan, India, warn against stagnant water as the Zika virus spreads. New research pinpoints two types of “flash drought” in China. A river in Texas that overflowed earlier this week begins to subside. In Iraq, water pollution in the Tigris River interrupts religious practices of the Mandaean faith. Rescuers continue to search for hundreds of missing people in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, which has also left thousands without water. 

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

U.N. Climate Report: Water Extremes, Unevenly Distributed, Worsen With More Heat More floods and droughts in a warmer world. But certain regions will be worse off than others.

HotSpots H2O, October 15: Special Report on Yemen’s Water Crisis — Water and electrical infrastructure have been targeted repeatedly, leaving millions of Yemenis without clean water.

By The Numbers

27 People killed by Hurricane Michael, which struck the Florida Panhandle a week ago. Rescuers continue to search for survivors in the rubble of coastal communities, with hundreds of people still reportedly missing. Access to water and sanitation remains a major issues for many in the Panhandle, especially those in rural areas. Reuters

40 feet Peak level of the Llano River in Texas as it overflowed earlier this week, prompting evacuations and washing out a bridge. Water levels have now dropped significantly, sitting just below 15 feet on Wednesday. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

In a new study, Chinese scientists identified two different types of “flash drought” in the country. A type I flash drought is mainly driven by higher temperatures, while a type II is mainly fueled by a lack of rainfall. The researchers said both types have increased significantly in the past 30 years, especially type I. Phys.org

On The Radar

Pollutants like raw sewage and dead carp are tainting the Tigris River and disrupting the religious rituals of the Mandaean community. Members of the Mandaean faith rely on the Tigris for baptisms and other religious rituals, but the once-clean river is becoming an increasingly dangerous place to practice their faith. Associated Press

Spotlight: India

Follow The Stream for daily coverage on India’s water crisis.

At least 86 people have fallen ill with the Zika virus in Rajasthan, India, since late September, including 23 pregnant women. The disease is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in pools of open, stagnant water. The New Indian Express

In context: Water A Key Factor in Zika Virus Spread.

Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter

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