Avian Flu - Special English Audiobook

     Avian Flu

Avian Flu

  Hello. I’m Marina Santee.
   Hello. I’m Marina Santee.
  And I’m Elizabeth Lickiss.
   And I’m Elizabeth Lickiss.
  Welcome to Spotlight.
   Welcome to Spotlight.
  This programme uses a special English method of broadcasting.
   This programme uses a special English method of broadcasting.
  It is easier for people to understand,
   It is easier for people to understand,
  no matter where in the world they live.
   no matter where in the world they live.
  At some point in our lives
   At some point in our lives
  most of us have had the influenza virus.
   most of us have had the influenza virus.
  You probably know it by its common name - the flu.
   You probably know it by its common name - the flu.
  Usually your body temperature rises
   Usually your body temperature rises
  you have a fever.
   you have a fever.
  Then, you may cough and sneeze.
   Then, you may cough and sneeze.
  It is easy to pass the flu on to people around you in this way!
   It is easy to pass the flu on to people around you in this way!
  The flu can make you feel hot one minute
   The flu can make you feel hot one minute
  and cold the next.
   and cold the next.
  So, you rest for a few days.
   So, you rest for a few days.
  The flu does not usually last long.
   The flu does not usually last long.
  Most people recover quickly.
   Most people recover quickly.
  Today, Spotlight takes a look at one kind of flu.
   Today, Spotlight takes a look at one kind of flu.
  It has been in the news a lot.
   It has been in the news a lot.
  And yet,
   And yet,
  at the time this programme is being made
   at the time this programme is being made
  there are very few examples of people
   there are very few examples of people
  catching this kind of flu.
   catching this kind of flu.
  There are only about one hundred and twenty [120] reported cases.
   There are only about one hundred and twenty [120] reported cases.
  And half of these victims recovered.
   And half of these victims recovered.
  So why has this flu caused so much concern
   So why has this flu caused so much concern
  when it has affected so few people?
   when it has affected so few people?
  There are many kinds of flu.
   There are many kinds of flu.
  All of them are caused by viruses.
   All of them are caused by viruses.
  Experts divide flu viruses into three kinds,
   Experts divide flu viruses into three kinds,
  types A, B and C.
   types A, B and C.
  The concern is all about one particular,
   The concern is all about one particular,
  deadly kind of type A flu.
   deadly kind of type A flu.
  It is spreading in birds across Asia
   It is spreading in birds across Asia
  and other parts of the world.
   and other parts of the world.
  People know it by different names
   People know it by different names
  Bird, Avian or Chicken Flu.
   Bird, Avian or Chicken Flu.
  The scientific name for this kind of Avian Flu is H5N1.
   The scientific name for this kind of Avian Flu is H5N1.
  Experts have a way
   Experts have a way
  to identify different type A flu viruses.
   to identify different type A flu viruses.
  The viruses contain proteins.
   The viruses contain proteins.
  These complex chemicals combine in different ways.
   These complex chemicals combine in different ways.
  Each way makes a different virus,
   Each way makes a different virus,
  called a subtype.
   called a subtype.
  The experts examine two proteins on the surface of the virus.
   The experts examine two proteins on the surface of the virus.
  These are hemagglutinin and neuraminidase - H and N.
   These are hemagglutinin and neuraminidase - H and N.
  The subtype causing this Avian Flu is H5N1.
   The subtype causing this Avian Flu is H5N1.
  This means it is Influenza Type A.
   This means it is Influenza Type A.
  It has hemagglutinin five.
   It has hemagglutinin five.
  And it has neuraminidase one - H5N1.
   And it has neuraminidase one - H5N1.
  Type A viruses can infect birds
   Type A viruses can infect birds
  and animals as well as humans.
   and animals as well as humans.
  And viruses like H5N1
   And viruses like H5N1
  are hard to fight because they change,or ‘mutate’ quickly.
   are hard to fight because they change,or ‘mutate’ quickly.
  When a virus mutates,
   When a virus mutates,
  it produces new versions of itself.
   it produces new versions of itself.
  Some new versions may be more dangerous
   Some new versions may be more dangerous
  than the parent virus.
   than the parent virus.
  Each mutation is new to the human body.
   Each mutation is new to the human body.
  The human body may not be able to resist it.
   The human body may not be able to resist it.
  The other concern about mutation is this:
   The other concern about mutation is this:
  at present,
   at present,
  H5N1 can only pass from birds to humans.
   H5N1 can only pass from birds to humans.
  But suppose it mutates in such a way
   But suppose it mutates in such a way
  as to be able to pass easily from human to human.
   as to be able to pass easily from human to human.
  Then it would spread very quickly.
   Then it would spread very quickly.
  It could cause a pandemic.
   It could cause a pandemic.
  When a disease affects many people in one area
   When a disease affects many people in one area
  it is called an epidemic.
   it is called an epidemic.
  If the epidemic spreads all over the world,
   If the epidemic spreads all over the world,
  it is a pandemic.
   it is a pandemic.
  A pandemic can kill millions of people.
   A pandemic can kill millions of people.
  So the H5N1 Avian Flu virus is dangerous
   So the H5N1 Avian Flu virus is dangerous
  for three reasons:
   for three reasons:
  It can kill people who catch it.
   It can kill people who catch it.
  It can spread from birds to people.
   It can spread from birds to people.
  It could mutate
   It could mutate
  so that it spreads from person to person.
   so that it spreads from person to person.
  This could cause a pandemic.
   This could cause a pandemic.
  So how could this mutation happen?
   So how could this mutation happen?
  Suppose a person infected with normal flu
   Suppose a person infected with normal flu
  also catches the Avian Flu.
   also catches the Avian Flu.
  The two flu types could combine
   The two flu types could combine
  to create a new subtype.
   to create a new subtype.
  This new subtype
   This new subtype
  would have enough human genetic material
   would have enough human genetic material
  to pass from person to person.
   to pass from person to person.
  Some scientists believe
   Some scientists believe
  there have already been a few cases
   there have already been a few cases
  of the virus passing from human to human.
   of the virus passing from human to human.
  But this happened when the people were very close,
   But this happened when the people were very close,
  such as between members of the same family.
   such as between members of the same family.
  Nguyen Thanh Hung and his brother
   Nguyen Thanh Hung and his brother
  were enjoying a family party
   were enjoying a family party
  in their home of Thai Binh, Vietnam.
   in their home of Thai Binh, Vietnam.
  Everyone was having a good time.
   Everyone was having a good time.
  It was a party to welcome Hung home.
   It was a party to welcome Hung home.
  He had been away working.
   He had been away working.
  Now he could spend some time talking
   Now he could spend some time talking
  and enjoying family life.
   and enjoying family life.
  However ten days after the party
   However ten days after the party
  Hung’s brother died.
   Hung’s brother died.
  He was a victim of Avian flu.
   He was a victim of Avian flu.
  Hung remembers that terrible time.
   Hung remembers that terrible time.
  I was looking forward to the New Year holiday.
   I was looking forward to the New Year holiday.
  My family prepared a special dinner
   My family prepared a special dinner
  to welcome me.
   to welcome me.
  They chose a bird,
   They chose a bird,
  a fresh duck, for the meal.
   a fresh duck, for the meal.
  I enjoyed the party.
   I enjoyed the party.
  But just one day after the party
   But just one day after the party
  my older brother became sick.
   my older brother became sick.
  At first we did not worry too much.
   At first we did not worry too much.
  We believed he would get better.
   We believed he would get better.
  We did not think it could be Avian Flu.
   We did not think it could be Avian Flu.
  But my brother just got weaker and weaker.
   But my brother just got weaker and weaker.
  I stayed by his side and looked after him.
   I stayed by his side and looked after him.
  But he died ten days later.
   But he died ten days later.
  That was the day
   That was the day
  I also developed problems with my breathing.
   I also developed problems with my breathing.
  I felt hot.
   I felt hot.
  I was sick.
   I was sick.
  The doctors told me
   The doctors told me
  that my lungs were damaged.’
   that my lungs were damaged.’
  Hung and his brother both had Avian Flu.
   Hung and his brother both had Avian Flu.
  Hung’s brother died from it.
   Hung’s brother died from it.
  But Hung was lucky.
   But Hung was lucky.
  In time, he made a full recovery.
   In time, he made a full recovery.
  Hung’s story shows that not everyone who gets Avian Flu dies.
   Hung’s story shows that not everyone who gets Avian Flu dies.
  Hung survived.
   Hung survived.
  Hung’s brother probably caught the virus
   Hung’s brother probably caught the virus
  when he killed the duck
   when he killed the duck
  and prepared it for the meal.
   and prepared it for the meal.
  The virus lives in the bird’s food system
   The virus lives in the bird’s food system
  its stomach and intestines.
   its stomach and intestines.
  People who live in areas where Avian Flu exists
   People who live in areas where Avian Flu exists
  should be careful when preparing birds to eat.
   should be careful when preparing birds to eat.
  Experts say
   Experts say
  there is no evidence of anyone catching the virus
   there is no evidence of anyone catching the virus
  from eating cooked bird meat.
   from eating cooked bird meat.
  Eating cooked bird meat is safe.
   Eating cooked bird meat is safe.
  Meat should always be well cooked.
   Meat should always be well cooked.
  Many diseases can come from meat
   Many diseases can come from meat
  that is not completely cooked.
   that is not completely cooked.
  One question remains
   One question remains
  how did Hung catch the flu?
   how did Hung catch the flu?
  Remember he was not sick until ten days after his brother.
   Remember he was not sick until ten days after his brother.
  Doctors are concerned about this.
   Doctors are concerned about this.
  It could have been a rare case of the virus passing
   It could have been a rare case of the virus passing
  from human to human.
   from human to human.
  The debate continues.
   The debate continues.
  If it was human-to-human transmission,
   If it was human-to-human transmission,
  it is very worrying,
   it is very worrying,
  but it is still very unusual.
   but it is still very unusual.
  The next question most people ask is
   The next question most people ask is
  what can we do?
   what can we do?
  Is there a vaccine?
   Is there a vaccine?
  Is there a drug
   Is there a drug
  that will protect people from the H5N1 virus?
   that will protect people from the H5N1 virus?
  Well, experts say that, at present,
   Well, experts say that, at present,
  it is not easy for most people
   it is not easy for most people
  to get Avian Flu.
   to get Avian Flu.
  This is why there have been so few cases.
   This is why there have been so few cases.
  But this could change.
   But this could change.
  So scientists are working hard
   So scientists are working hard
  to develop a vaccine.
   to develop a vaccine.
  The problem is
   The problem is
  that they cannot complete the work
   that they cannot complete the work
  until the virus has finally mutated.
   until the virus has finally mutated.
  And the virus could mutate in many different forms.
   And the virus could mutate in many different forms.
  Experts in many countries
   Experts in many countries
  have joined forces to fight this problem.
   have joined forces to fight this problem.
  They are using computer models
   They are using computer models
  to work out all the possible forms of H5N1 virus mutations.
   to work out all the possible forms of H5N1 virus mutations.
  Then they will be better prepared
   Then they will be better prepared
  to develop a vaccine that works.
   to develop a vaccine that works.
  It is a huge job.
   It is a huge job.
  A pandemic would be worldwide.
   A pandemic would be worldwide.
  So also must the fight against it be worldwide.
   So also must the fight against it be worldwide.
  The writers of today’s programme were
   The writers of today’s programme were
  Marina Santee,
   Marina Santee,
  Elizabeth Lickiss, and Mike Procter.
   Elizabeth Lickiss, and Mike Procter.
  The producer was Marina Santee.
   The producer was Marina Santee.
  The voices you heard
   The voices you heard
  were from the United Kingdom
   were from the United Kingdom
  This program is called, ‘Avian Flu.’
   This program is called, ‘Avian Flu.’
  You can find it on our website:
   You can find it on our website:
  Spotlight on the Internet.
   Spotlight on the Internet.
  Visit our website at
   Visit our website at
  www.radio.english.net.
   www.radio.english.net.


 

 

cron