60 people have died so far due to an outbreak of plague in Madagascar. According to the World Health Organisation, Madagascar witnesses about 400 cases of plague every year. However, this year infections have started much earlier and are spreading from remoterural areas to cities as well.
Most cases were pneumonic plague, a dangerous and severe infection of the lung. It is highly infectious and can be transmitted through air by coughing and sneezing. It invades the lungs and can lead to death within 24 hours.
156 cases were attributed to bubonic plague, an infection that is transmitted by rats and spreads to humans through flea bites. It can be very painful and causesfever, headache, chest pain as well as swollen lymph nodes.
While both forms of plague can be treated it is important to detect the illness at an early stage and get medical help to people as soon as possible. The WHO has helped with millions of doses of antibiotics. The International Red Cross has set up treatment centresthroughout the island. In addition the government has been supplyingpeople with masks and has closed down schools.
Madagascar, with a population of 25 million, has witnessed outbreaks of plague since the 1980s, usually during the rainy season between November and March. Officials fear that this time the disease might not be contained and could spread to many regions of the country.
The most deadly plague in history occurred in Europe in the 14th century. About a third of the continent’s population when killed as sailors brought the infectious disease from Asia.
according to = as reported by
antibiotic = medicine that is used to kill bacteria and cure infections
attribute = to believe that something is caused by …
century = a hundred years
chest = front part of your body between your neck and stomach
contain = to stop something from spreading
detect = discover, notice
dose = an amount of medicine that you should take
due to = because of
flea = very small insect without wings that bites animals and people and eats their blood
in addition = also
infectious = disease that can be passed on from person to person, mostly by air
invade = here: attack
lymph node = small round swelling in your body with liquid that helps fight off infections
occur = happen
official = person in a high position in the government
outbreak = when something suddenly starts
remote = far away
rural = in the countryside
severe = very bad
spread = move from one place ot another
supply = give
swollen = larger than normal
throughout = all across
transmit = to pass on to another person
treat = cure an illness with medicine and other drugs
treatment centre = place where people can come to in order to get medicine
witness = experience ; see something happen
World Health Organisation (WHO) = international organisation which helps countries improve health care by giving people medicine and providing information about diseases
Experts from the World Health Organisation say that childhood obesity has risentenfold in the last four decades and is at its highest rate since 1975.
Worldwide obesity rates have increased from less than 1% in 1975 to about 7% today. A total of 120 million children are considered to be obese, boys more than girls. The researchersexamineddata that tracked the height and weight of over 30 million 5 to 19 year-olds in the last 40 years.
Obesity at a young age can lead to heart disease and diabetes as well as social problems like bullying and teasing . It also can affect the progress of pupils at school. Apart from that, the effects of childhood obesity are estimated to cost the world’s health care systems over $1 trillion in the next ten years.
While the increase in childhood obesity rates in developed countries in Europe and North America has slowed down , it is still at a very high rate. Children in middle and higher class areas are especially at risk because families have more money to buy unhealthy food.
Experts suggest that countries in which childhood obesity is increasing should think about measures like introducing a tax on sugary drinks or unhealthy food. Schools should offer healthier products in their canteens and better labelling could help show consumers how much sugar, fat and salt products have.
On the other side, many children in poor countries remain underweight and malnourished. Countries with the highest number of underweight children include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. In southern Asia about 25% of all children are thought to be underweight.
The WHO claims that if the trend continues there will soon be more obese than underweight children in our world.
affect = change
apart from … = also
bullying = someone who uses their strength or power to frighten or hurt someone who is weaker
canteen = place at school where students get a meal or other food
claim = to say that something is true even if you do not have the facts to prove it
considered = people think that
examine = look at information very closely
data = information
decade = ten years
developed countries = rich countries in the world
diabetes = serious illness in which there is too much sugar in your blood
especially = above all
estimate = guess how high something is by looking at the information you have
height = how tall a person is
increase = to go up
labelling = information on a product
malnourished = if you don’t have enough food to eat
measure = action that the government takes
obesity = when someone is very fat in an unhealthy way
offer = give, provide
remain = stay
researcher = person who studies a topic in order to find out more about it
rise – rose – risen = to go up
tax = money you must pay to the government for products you buy
tenfold = ten times as much
track = to look at information about something over a certain period of time
trillion = 1,000 000 000 000 = one thousand billion
weight = how heavy a person is
World Health Organisation (WHO) = international organisation that helps improve health around the world by giving medicine and providing information about diseases
Miwa Sado is a Japanese journalist who died in 2013 after working too hard. Her case became public this week after labour inspectors publisheda detailed report.
The journalist worked 160 hours of overtime a month and then died of heart failure. She was working for Japan’s public broadcaster NHK and at the time of her death was gathering information on a Tokyo election .
The death of Sado is expected to make the Japanese government more aware of the health risks involved in working too much. According to a survey, about one in five workers risk a critical health condition because of too much work . Now the government wants to limitovertime to a maximum of 100 hours a month and fine companies that do not comply.
In another case that became known, 24-year old Matsuri Takahashi, killed herself in 2015 after suffering from stress and working long hours for a a Japanese advertisingagency.
Japanese employees , on average, work more hours than anywhere else in the western world. They also consume only a third of the holidays they are entitled to. Many Japanese work hard in order to show that they are loyal to their company.
In 2016, two thousand Japanese workers killed themselves due to stress and overwork. Many other died from stress-related diseases, suffering from heart attacks and high blood pressure. The Japanese refer to such work-related deaths as karoshi.
according to = as reported by
advertising agency = company that designs ads for other companies
aware = when you know that a situation exists
blood pressure = the power with which blood flows through your body
case = here: what happened to her
comply = follow the rules and laws
consume = use up ; spend
critical = dangerous
due to = because of
election = when people vote to choose someone for an official position
employee = person who works for a company
entitled = the right to have something
fine = money that you have to pay as punishment
gather = collect
government = the people who rule the country
heart failure = when your heart stops beating
labour inspector = a person who checks to see if companies obey the rules and the law
limit = here: not allow more than a certain number
loyal = here: to show that you are connected to a company
overtime = time that you spend working in addition to your normal working hours
public = known about by everyone
public broadcaster = TV company that belongs to the state
publish = to print something so that everyone can read it
refer = call
stress-related = coming from stress
survey = set of questions that you ask many people in order to find out what they think about a topic
For the first time England’s Prince Harry has talked about how he struggledemotionally after the death of his mother , Lady Diana, in September 1997. The 32 year old prince said that the the past few years of his life had been disturbing until finally his brother, William, urged him see a counselor.
Harry told journalists that it took him almost two decades to finally get over the tragic event. When Princess Diana died in a car accident, Harry was 12 years old.
He said that counselling helped him a lot because it is always good to open yourself up to a complete stranger. Apart from getting professional help, Harry started boxing to help overcome his grief.
In his late 20s Harry said that he had felt angry and left alone . He almost suffered a nervous breakdown as well. He said he had been dealing with the situation by not thinking about his mother and sticking his head into the sand.
Together with Prince William and his sister-in-law, Kate, Harry started the Heads Togethercampaign , a charity that helps people who have psychological problems.
apart from = besides, also
campaign = movement ; events about a certain topic
charity = organization that gives money or goods to people who are poor or need help
counselor = a person who advises you and gives you help
decade = ten years
disturbing = worrying, upsetting
emotionally = about your feelings and how you control them
grief = extreme sadness because someone you love has died
nervous breakdown = a mental illness in which someone becomes extremely nervous and cannot deal with normal situations
open yourself up = to stop being shy and say what you really think
overcome = to control a feeling or a problem
psychological = about the way your mind works and how it influences your behavior
sister-in-law = the sister of your husband or wife
The American pharmaceutical conmpany Pfizer has said it will no longer sell drugs that can be used for lethal injections to the Amercian government. A total of 7 substances on the list are mostly used for operations and certain illnesses but are also in liquids used for executions. According to a Pfizer representative, the company’s aim is to save lives and not help kill people.
Pfizer says it will closely monitor buyers who try to resell the drugs to state institutions, which may use them for executions.
After Pfizer’s decision , there are no more companies in the USA and Europe that sell lethal injection drugs to the Amercian government . The European Union has banned the export of such drugs to the US.
As a result, state authorities are trying to find new drugs and combinations of substances that can be used for executions. Normally, three mixtures of drugs are used to execute a prisoner. The first one makes you unconscious , the second liquidparalyses the muscles and the third stops the heart from beating.
In the past few years, the number of executions has decreased, in partdue to the availability of lethal drugs. Last year only 28 executions were carried out in the US. Among the 32 states that allow capital punishment, all of them use lethal injections as the main method of execution but some allow the electric chair,hanging, the firing squad and the gas chamber as alternatives.
Human rights organizations and other groups opposed to capital punishment have welcomed Pfizer’s decision as a bold move to ban the death penalty in the United States.
according to = as said by …
aim = what someone wants to do or achieve something
authorities = group of people who make decisions and have power in certain areas
availability = the fact that something can be bought and used
ban = forbid, not allow
bold move = action that shows a lot of courage
capital punishment = to officially kill a person who has committed a crime
combination = mixture
death penalty = to officially kill a person who has committed a crime
decrease = go down
drug = chemical that is used as medicine
due to = because of
execution = the official killing of a person by the state
firing squad = group of people who are ordered to shoot and kill a prisoner
government = the people who rule a country
human rights = the basic rights that everyone should have, like the right to vote or the freedom of speech
illness = disease
in part = partly
lethal injection = a drug that is injected into your blood stream; it is used to execute people who have committed certain crimes
liquid = substance like water
main = most important
method = way
mixture = here: combination of liquids
monitor = watch closely
opposed to = against
paralyse = if a person cannot move arms or legs or feel anything
pharmaceutical = about producing medicine
resell = sell again
substance = here: drug, medicine
unconscious = if you are not awake and do not know what is going on around you