Stories by Eileen Drage O'Reilly

U.S. drug overdose deaths grew exponentially in 38 years

Adapted from Jalal et al., 2018, “Changing dynamics of the drug overdose epidemic in the United States from 1979 through 2016”; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Deaths in America from drug overdoses have been growing exponentially for years — with an almost eerily consistent acceleration rate of about 9% per year for the past 38 years, despite the different types of drug epidemics and user demographics, scientists report in a new study published Thursday in Science.

WHO report: TB remains "public health crisis" despite decline

Photo of sand sculpture in India urging leaders to create a TB-free world
A sand sculpture on the beach at Puri, India, on Tuberculosis Day, March 24. Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While mortality has dropped from tuberculosis infections, nations must still accelerate their response to what remains "the world's deadliest disease," according to medical leaders speaking at the launch of an annual World Health Organization report today.

Threat level: Among the concerns is the estimated 558,000 people with TB who developed drug resistance in 2017 to at least one of the key antibiotics, with the vast majority showing multi-drug resistance — which is a "public health crisis," says Tereza Kasaeva, director of WHO's global TB program.

UNICEF and Congo officials boost efforts to contain Ebola outbreak

Data: Ministry of Health DRC; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

In response to an small uptick in confirmed Ebola cases in the busy urban hub of Butembo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF announced Friday it's bolstering its efforts there.

What's new: UNICEF is sending a team of specialists in community communication, education, psycho-social assistance and hygiene to help contain the disease and avoid any further spread of the epidemic, which has become the 8th largest outbreak on record.