Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Download: our eclipse guide, and what you need to know about bird flu

Computer scienceThe Download: our eclipse guide, and what you need to know about bird flu


On April 8, the moon will pass directly between Earth and the sun, creating a total solar eclipse across much of the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Although total solar eclipses occur somewhere in the world every 18 months or so, this one is unusual because tens of millions of people in North America will likely witness it, from Mazatlán in Mexico to Newfoundland in Canada.

Here’s how to safely watch—and photograph—the natural phenomenon, even if you don’t have a fancy camera to hand. Read the full story.

—Rhiannon Williams

What you need to know about new bird flu infections

A dairy worker in Texas tested positive for avian influenza this week. But this new human case of bird flu—the second ever reported in the United States—isn’t cause for panic. The individual’s illness was mild, and they are already recovering. There’s still no evidence that the virus is spreading person to person.

However, the rash of recent infections among livestock is unsettling. Last month, goats in Minnesota tested positive. And avian influenza has now been confirmed in dairy cows in Texas, Michigan, Kansas, New Mexico, and Idaho. In some of those cases, the virus appears to have spread between cows. 

Here’s what we know about this new outbreak and what people are doing to prepare for further spread. Read the full story.

—Cassandra Willyard

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