Text 01 - Ebola crisis
West Africa is experiencing the biggest outbreak of the Ebola virus ever known, causing thousands of deaths, devastating fragile healthcare systems and damaging the economies of countries, some of which are still recovering from civil war. Infections are thought to be doubling every few weeks. The World Health Organization (WHO) says there were 13,700 officially registered cases by the end of October, almost all in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, with about 5,000 deaths, but many go unrecorded and the true figure is thought to be two to three times higher. The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) says that if nothing changes there could be 1.4 million cases by late January.
The WHO has been criticized for not reacting fast enough to the outbreak: it took three months to diagnose the first cases, and five months more before a public health emergency was declared. The exceptional spread of the disease was probably down to a number of factors including dysfunctional health systems, high population mobility across state borders, densely populated capitals and lack of trust in authorities after years of armed conflict meaning health advice is not heeded. Fear is also a factor. People are afraid to go to hospital because they think it may be the source of infection.
Healthcare in the region was fragile before Ebola. Now there is disintegration as staff become ill or stay away for fear of the disease. Infection control and hygiene are major issues. Soap and water are unavailable in some areas. Alcohol hand rubs are needed on a large scale. Isolation facilities are vital to contain Ebola, as are labs for testing because rapid diagnosis is very important. Both are in very short supply. In some places, isolation is nothing more than an area behind a curtain. People with other diseases and women in childbirth are at risk because hospitals are no longer functioning properly.
The Guardian, Oct. 31, 2014. Access on: Nov. 25, 2014. [Adapted]
1. According to the text, it is correct to affirm that
a) the Ebola crisis is global.
b) the Ebola crisis has killed 13,700 people.
c) Ebola is a virus transmitted to humans from animals.
d) Ebola has reached all Africa, Spain and the USA.
e) the Ebola crisis has reached some African countries.
2. According to the text, it is correct to affirm that
a) bad healthcare conditions in some African countries are not related to the Ebola crisis.
b) hygiene is not a problem because they use alcohol for large scale disinfection.
c) authorities have been quick to diagnose cases and set emergency procedures.
d) the Ebola crisis in some African countries is related to wars and economy.
e) civil war and other armed conflicts have made people afraid to go to hospital.
3. According to the text, the Ebola crisis is caused
a) due to constant civil wars which made the countries poor and the population vulnerable.
b) because people do not trust the governments and healthcare systems are bad.
c) by poor hygiene conditions and high population mobility to the capitals.
d) because the governments took 5 months to diagnose the cases and inform the population.
e) by a virus that came from Spain and infected poor areas in Africa.
4. About the first sentence of the text, it is correct to affirm that
a) the word “Ebola” is the subject of the sentence.
b) all clauses are in the present continuous tense.
c) the adjective “biggest” is in the comparative form.
d) the word “ever” is an auxiliary verb.
e) the word “still” indicates consequence.
“The media seems to treat epidemics differently, depending on where they occur, and to whom. I think unfortunately, in the Western media, there are first-world diseases and third-world diseases, and the attention devoted to the latter depends on the threat they pose to us, not on a universal measure of human suffering. A death in Africa or Asia should be as tragic as a death in Europe or the USA, and it doesn’t seem to be. If an epidemic breaks out in the USA or Europe, suddenly the reporting is more engaged. I would like to hear from the people who are affected everywhere. I would like to feel that everyone’s voices are more equally heard, even if they speak a language that is not mine.”
CARRILHO, André. The Huffington Post. Available on:
5. According to André Carrilho’s opinion,
a) European and American media has treated the Ebola crisis with humor.
b) the Ebola crisis has not caught Western media’s attention yet.
c) media coverage on epidemics depends on where it happens and who it affects.
d) Western media only cares about what happens in Europe and Asia.
e) first-world and third-world diseases are equally treated by American media.
6. In Carrilho’s point of view,
a) there are important differences between first-world diseases and third-world diseases.
b) if epidemics like Ebola occur in the USA, the media must treat it differently.
c) people from Africa and Asia do not have access to good media coverage of the Ebola crisis.
d) media has only paid attention to Ebola because white Western people began to be affected.
e) death cases in Africa and Asia are less important than in America and Europe.
Analyze the extract from the text:
“I would like to hear from the people who are affected everywhere. I would like to feel that everyone’s voices are more equally heard, even if they speak a language that is not mine.”
7. About the extract, it is correct to affirm that
a) the verbs “affected” and “heard” are regular verbs.
b) the expression “would like” indicates simple future.
c) the adverb “even” expresses opposition.
d) the possessive pronoun “mine” indicates third person.
e) the first and second clauses are in the passive voice.
OHMAN, Jack. The Sacramento Bee. Access on: 20 Nov. 2014.
8. About the relation between the three texts, it is correct to affirm that
a) the points of view presented in texts 02 and 03 contradict text 01.
b) texts 01 and 03 are about health problems caused by Ebola on a global scale.
c) they all present different perspectives on the same subject.
d) the non-verbal elements of texts 02 and 03 help understand text 01.
e) texts 01 and 02 are about the economical problems caused by Ebola.
By Milton Franca
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