LESSON 21

Word-of-the-week: VIGILANT

Related expressions

1. vigilant - always being careful to notice things, especially possible danger
After the bomb attacks the security guards at the hotels have been told to be extra vigilant and search every person coming into the building.

2. spread – to reach or have an effect on a wider or increasing area
 The disease spread to neighbouring towns and villages killing thousands of people.

3. fatigue – extreme tiredness
She was suffering from fatigue and no one knew how to help her.

In context
Two weeks ago WHO (the World Health Organisation) announced that the H1N1 virus has infected people in 74 countries, including Poland, making it a global pandemic. The WHO Emergency Committee said the virus is unstoppable. Countries have to be more vigilant and strengthen their surveillance. At this moment it is not possible to estimate how many people will be at risk when the seasonal influenza virus appears in the next few months. The last global pandemic broke out in 1968. The so called Hong Kong flu killed a million people globally.

How does the H1N1 virus spread?
It spreads in the same way as any influenza virus, by droplet spread. A person expels droplets of fluid when sneezing or coughing which can infect another person. Also, when an infected person touches a surface, the virus can survive on that surface for at least an hour. That is why it is very important to keep our hands clean and away from our mouths or noses.  

What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are similar to a typical influenza infection, like runny nose, cough, sore throat and headache. The difference could be lack of high temperature and a feeling of fatigue, which can be very extreme.

How can we treat it?
If treatment is given in the first two days upon getting sick a person can make a full recovery. The doctors prescribe antiviral drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza.

What measures are taken by governments?
In many countries where the virus is present governments have closed down public places like schools and recommend people avoid large crowd gatherings. Five pharmaceutical manufacturers are working on the development of the H1N1 antigen. Officials say the vaccine may be ready by autumn. However, no decision has yet been made whether the vaccine will be produced on a mass-scale.

Read more
www.Swine Flu

CNN.com

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