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
Canada plans to allow the limited use of marijuana for adults by the middle of 2018. For some time now, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been promising that he intends to legalizerecreational marijuana. With the new law, Canada is joining some US states which have also voted to allow marijuana. It will become the second country in the world to legalize marijuana on a nationwide basis. A short time, ago Uruguay became the first country to officially allow its citizens the use of pot.
The Canadian plan will allow users to possess 30 grams of the drug and grow up to four plants at home. While possession is to be allowed , selling the drug without a licence will lead to up to 14 years in prison. The government has also set the age limit for buying and using marijuana in public to 18. It will also control producers and give special licences to sellers.
On one side , Canada’s government hopes that the new law will stop the spread of illegal marijuana. But it also wants adults to decide for themselves if they want to use the drug. Opponents of the new law state that the government is sending a message that marijuana is not harmful. Experts agree that pot may have a greater physicalinfluence on your brain than tobacco.
According to a report recently released by UNICEF more teenagers in Canada use cannabis than anywhere else in the developed world.
according to = as shown or said by …
agree = to have the same opinion about something
brain = organ inside your head that controls how you think, feel or move
cannabis = marijuana
citizen = a person who lives in a country and has rights there
developed world = rich countries of the world
drug = substance that you smoke or use to make you feel happy
harmful = dangerous
illegal = against the law
influence = effect
law = rule that a government has passed
legalize = to allow by law
limited = controlled, not in a great amount
marijuana = drug that is smoked like a cigarette
nationwide = across the whole country
officially = formally
opponent = a person who is against something
physical = about the body
possess = to have
pot = another word for marijuana
recreational = for pleasure or fun
state = to say officially
UNICEF = worldwide organization that helps children who are poor or suffer from disease , hunger etc.
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