The Swine Flu Pandemic IELTS Reading Passage with Answers
READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
The Swine Flu Pandemic
The swine flu pandemic has become more problematic. The White House will meet with state representatives on the 9th of July to talk about the preparation for the autumn flu season in the US, whilst the UK has focused their response on the H1N1 virus to cope with widespread infection.
In the meantime, the southern hemisphere is going into the middle of the winter flu season, and the swine H1N1 virus seems to be replacing the seasonal flu viruses that have been circulating until now. This is related to the seasonal flu vaccine which several companies are still producing. It could cause some problems when the northern hemisphere flu season comes at the end of this year.
The flu pandemics of 1918, 1957 and 1968 showed a high level of seasonal change and also released mild form of the H1N1 virus which circulates through the existing flu virus, H3N2. So, nobody knows how the H1N1 virus is going to behave. If it is not exchanged with the seasonal virus – the milder H1N1 and H3N2 – the world is facing the prospect of catching all three viruses at once. It would be a complicated scenario, as both seasonal and pandemic vaccines would be wanted and patients from different age groups would be affected. Although based on what is happening in the southern hemisphere, it does not seem that this will be the case.
In the northern hemisphere, swine flu has spread to the extent that over 98% of flu cases genotyped in the US towards the end of June were caused by the pandemic virus. This is to be expected. Whilst the seasonal flu viruses generally die out during the summer season, the pandemic virus can be more powerful as fewer people have built up immunity to it.
The state of Victoria in Australia reported this week that the H1N1 virus is now considered for 99% of all flu cases. There are reports of a similar situation in South America. In Chile, the H1N1 virus is also much stronger than other seasonal viruses. “98% of the flu cases we now take are caused by H1N1,” Jeanette Vega, Chile’s undersecretary of public health, said last week about a pandemic peak in Cancun, Mexico. “The seasonal vaccine is not used.”
In the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, Juan Manzur, the health minister, reported last week about the emergency situation in that 90% of the flu is a result of the H1N1 virus.
During this winter in the northern hemisphere, it is an important matter. “If the pandemic virus greatly attacks the seasonal viruses in a regular flu season, the seasonal viruses are likely to be exchanged by the new virus, like in the 1968 pandemic,” says Ab Osterhaus in the University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
In previous pandemics, the virus has changed, producing negative side effects. So far for H1N1, there have only been a few ominous signs.
The mutation of the virus’s polymerase enzyme has been replicated efficiently from a sample taken in Shanghai. Ron Fouchier at the University of Rotterdam says that this could spread if it makes the virus more contagious, but the virus may also improve pathogenicity.
Also last week, two cases of the H1N1 virus with resistance to the main antiviral drug, Tamiflu, were found in people using the drug. Another was found in a girl who had never taken the drug, suggesting Tamiflu – resistant to the H1N1 virus might already be in circulation.
Complete the summary below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 1-9 on your answer sheet.
There is currently a severe problem of 1 ________ in the world, especially both the US and the UK are making strenuous efforts to solve the problem.
In the meantime, during the middle of winter flu season, 2________ is likely to substitute the seasonal flu viruses in the southern hemisphere. Also, over 98 per cent out of flu cases genotyped in the US were generated by 3________. Whilst seasonal flu viruses usually fade away in 4________, the pandemic virus has the advantage that few people have immunity to it.
There are reports that the H1N1 virus accounts for more than 90 per cent of all flu cases in countries, such as 5________ 6________ and 7________
According to Ab Osterhaus, 8________ in a regular flu season can be replaced by the pandemic virus. A new virus was found to be resistant to the antiviral drug, 9________
Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 10-13 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement reflects the opinion of the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the opinion of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
10 The UK and the US had discussed and worked together on the swine flu pandemic in the past.
11 Over 98 per cent of flu cases in the US was motivated by the pandemic virus.
12 In Argentina, 60 per cent of the flu virus in circulation is the H1N1 virus.
13 Tamiflu is the crucial antiviral medicine which is resistant to the H1N1 virus.
The Swine Flu Pandemic IELTS Reading Passage Answers
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1. swine flu pandemic
2. swine H1N1 virus
3. the pandemic virus
8. seasonal viruses
10. NOT GIVEN
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