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April 28, 2009

PRINT:  WORD | PDF (13-page handouts)
LISTEN: MP3 (2:06 - 987KB)
PLAY:    ONLINE QUIZ

Swine Flu Deaths Expected To Rise

Health officials from around the world have warned that swine flu may cause more deaths. Nearly 150 people have died so far in Mexico. There are fears that this death toll will rise, and that people will start dying in other countries. There are already around 2,000 reported cases of the virus in Mexico. Countries as far away as New Zealand, Spain, Canada and Scotland have also reported outbreaks. U.S. health officials have warned American citizens that there could be fatalities in the USA. Dr. Richard Besser of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters: "From what we understand in Mexico, I think people need to be ready for the idea that we could see more severe cases in this country and possibly deaths."


Health organizations everywhere are preparing for a pandemic. Scientists say the virus has not been seen before. This means there is not yet a vaccine against it. Dr. Besser warned it was not easy to predict how serious the virus is. He explained: “Outbreaks of infectious diseases are extremely unpredictable and variable, and so over time, what we say about this and what we learn will change.” Many countries are taking precautions to prevent swine flu crossing their borders. However, it is almost impossible to stop the virus entering a country via airplane or ship passengers. The outbreak could be bad for the world’s economy, especially the airline industry. Many would-be travelers are cancelling their travel plans and staying at home.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. PIGS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about pigs. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

health officials / flu / fears / death toll / viruses / outbreaks / fatalities / severe cases / health organizations / pandemics / vaccines / infectious diseases / borders / plans

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. HEALTH PROBLEMS: How do you deal with these health problems? Complete this table. Share your answers with your partner(s). Change partners and share again.

Problem

Remedy / Cure

Your experiences

Flu

 

 

Headache / migraine

 

 

Toothache

 

 

Stress

 

 

Sleeplessness

 

 

Stomach ache

 

 

4. BORDERS: Students A strongly believe all borders should close when there are flu pandemics; Students B strongly believe closing borders is useless. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. PREVENTION: Rank these things in order of which is best to stop swine flu from spreading. Share your ideas with your partner(s).

_____  close all borders

_____  educate people on TV / the Web

_____  have a hand-washing campaign

_____  kill all pigs

_____  everyone wears a mask

_____  ban pork products

_____  have a flu jab (injection)

_____  stay at home until it’s over

6. VIRUS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘virus’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

People believe more people will die because of swine flu.

T / F

b.

So far, people have died in Mexico and several other countries.

T / F

c.

A U.S. health expert believes the USA will escape the disease.

T / F

d.

The official completely ruled out the possibility of American deaths

T / F

e.

Swine flu is a virus that first appeared in the last century.

T / F

f.

A doctor said it was difficult to guess if swine flu will be a big problem.

T / F

g.

Many countries have taken precautions by closing their borders.

T / F

h.

A lot of people who wanted to travel have cancelled their plans.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

warned

a.

deaths

2

so far

b.

potential

3.

death toll

c.

serious

4.

fatalities

d.

to date

5.

severe

e.

very

6.

pandemic

f.

through

7.

extremely

g.

cautioned

8.

via

h.

particularly

9.

especially

i.

outbreak

10.

would-be

j.

number of dead

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one. combination is possible):

1.

swine flu may cause

a.

the virus is

2

There are fears that this death

b.

in the USA

3.

Countries as far away

c.

more deaths

4.

there could be fatalities

d.

the world’s economy

5.

people need to be ready

e.

canceling their travel plans

6.

there is not yet a vaccine

f.

toll will rise

7.

predict how serious

g.

precautions

8.

Many countries are taking

h.

for the idea

9.

The outbreak could be bad for

i.

as New Zealand

10.

Many would-be travelers are

j.

against it

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Health officials from around the world have __________ that swine flu may cause more deaths. Nearly 150 people have died so __________ in Mexico. There are __________ that this death toll will rise, and that people will start dying in other countries. There are already around 2,000 reported __________ of the virus in Mexico. Countries as far __________ as New Zealand, Spain, Canada and Scotland have also reported outbreaks. U.S. health __________ have warned American citizens that there could be fatalities in the USA. Dr. Richard Besser of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters: "From what we __________ in Mexico, I think people need to be ready for the __________ that we could see more severe cases in this country and possibly deaths."

 

 

 

away
fears
idea
warned
cases
understand
far
officials

Health organizations everywhere are __________ for a pandemic. Scientists say the virus has not been seen before. This means there is not yet a __________ against it. Dr. Besser warned it was not easy to predict how __________ the virus is. He explained: “Outbreaks of infectious diseases are extremely unpredictable and variable, and so over __________, what we say about this and what we learn will change.” Many countries are __________ precautions to prevent swine flu crossing their borders. However, it is almost impossible to stop the virus entering a country __________ airplane or ship passengers. The outbreak could be bad for the world’s economy, __________ the airline industry. Many would-be travelers are canceling their __________ plans and staying at home.

 

 

via
serious
travel
preparing
taking
vaccine
especially
time

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the gaps.

Health officials from around the world have warned that swine flu ________________________. Nearly 150 people have died so far in Mexico. There are fears that this ________________________, and that people will start dying in other countries. There are already around 2,000 reported cases of the virus in Mexico. Countries ________________ New Zealand, Spain, Canada and Scotland have also reported outbreaks. U.S. health officials have warned American citizens that there ________________ in the USA. Dr. Richard Besser of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters: "________________ understand in Mexico, I think people need to be ready for the idea that we could see ________________ in this country and possibly deaths."

Health organizations everywhere are preparing ________________. Scientists say the virus has not been seen before. This means there is not ___________________ it. Dr. Besser warned it was not easy to predict how serious the virus is. He explained: “Outbreaks of infectious diseases are extremely unpredictable and variable, ________________, what we say about this and what we learn will change.” Many countries are taking precautions to prevent swine flu crossing their borders. However, it is almost impossible __________________ entering a country via airplane or ship passengers. The outbreak could be bad for the world’s economy, especially the airline industry. Many ________________ are canceling their travel plans and staying at home.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘health’ and ‘official’.

health

official

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • so far
  • toll
  • reported
  • away
  • could
  • severe
  • preparing
  • vaccine
  • extremely
  • crossing
  • bad
  • plans

STUDENT DISEASE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about disease in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

SWINE FLU DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘flu’?

c)

What do you know about swine flu?

d)

How worried are you that swine flu might spread to your area?

e)

Do you think swine flu will become a pandemic?

f)

What’s your country doing about swine flu?

g)

Do you think countries should close their borders?

h)

What do you think authorities should do at airports?

i)

What do people need to do to be ready for a possible outbreak?

j)

What would you do if swine flu hit your town?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Why do you think this disease has never been seen before?

c)

How do health organizations prepare for a pandemic?

d)

Why do you think it’s difficult to predict the seriousness of this disease?

e)

What do you remember about recent outbreaks such as bird flu and SARS?

f)

What would you do if your government told you to stay at home for a month?

g)

How might swine flu affect the world’s economy?

h)

Would you cancel your travel plans?

i)

Would you like to work in a lab to find a vaccine for swine flu?

j)

What questions would you ask Dr. Richard Besser?

LANGUAGE

Health officials from around the world have (1) ____ that swine flu may cause more deaths. Nearly 150 people have died so far in Mexico. There are fears that this death toll will (2) ____, and that people will start dying in other countries. There are already around 2,000 (3) ____ cases of the virus in Mexico. Countries as far away as New Zealand, Spain, Canada and Scotland have also reported outbreaks. U.S. health officials have warned American citizens that there could be (4) ____ in the USA. Dr. Richard Besser (5) ____ the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters: "From what we understand in Mexico, I think people need to be ready (6) ____ the idea that we could see more severe cases in this country and possibly deaths."

Health organizations everywhere are preparing (7) ____ a pandemic. Scientists say the virus has not been seen before. This means there is not yet a vaccine (8) ____ it. Dr. Besser warned it was not easy to predict (9) ____ serious the virus is. He explained: “Outbreaks of infectious diseases are extremely unpredictable and variable, and so over time, what we say about this and what we learn will change.” Many countries are (10) ____ precautions to prevent swine flu crossing their borders. However, it is almost impossible to stop the virus entering a country (11) ____ airplane or ship passengers. The outbreak could be bad for the world’s economy, especially the airline industry. Many (12) ____ travelers are canceling their travel plans and staying at home.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

warned

(b)

warns

(c)

warning

(d)

warn

2.

(a)

arise

(b)

rise

(c)

raise

(d)

rising

3.

(a)

reports

(b)

reporting

(c)

reported

(d)

reporters

4.

(a)

fatality

(b)

fatally

(c)

fatal

(d)

fatalities

5.

(a)

by

(b)

to

(c)

for

(d)

of

6.

(a)

by

(b)

to

(c)

for

(d)

of

7.

(a)

for

(b)

of

(c)

by

(d)

to

8.

(a)

counter

(b)

against

(c)

pushing

(d)

opposed

9.

(a)

what

(b)

that

(c)

how

(d)

which

10.

(a)

taking

(b)

take

(c)

took

(d)

taken

11.

(a)

viva

(b)

vial

(c)

vibes

(d)

via

12.

(a)

would have

(b)

would-be

(c)

wouldn’t

(d)

wouldn’t’ve

WRITING: 

Write about viruses for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about swine flu. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. OUTBREAKS: Make a poster about three different outbreaks of viruses. What happened to stop the outbreak from killing more people? Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. CLOSED BORDERS: Write a magazine article about whether it is good or not to close a country’s borders to stop swine flu from entering. Include imaginary interviews with someone who thinks yes, and someone who thinks no.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Dr. Richard Besser. Ask him three questions about swine flu. Give him three ideas on what to do to prevent a pandemic. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

F

c.

F

d.

F

e.

F

f.

T

g.

F

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

warned

a.

cautioned

2

so far

b.

to date

3.

death toll

c.

number of dead

4.

fatalities

d.

deaths

5.

severe

e.

serious

6.

pandemic

f.

outbreak

7.

extremely

g.

very

8.

via

h.

through

9.

especially

i.

particularly

10.

would-be

j.

potential

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

swine flu may cause

a.

more deaths

2

There are fears that this death

b.

toll will rise

3.

Countries as far away

c.

as New Zealand

4.

there could be fatalities

d.

in the USA

5.

people need to be ready

e.

for the idea

6.

there is not yet a vaccine

f.

against it

7.

predict how serious

g.

the virus is

8.

Many countries are taking

h.

precautions

9.

The outbreak could be bad for

i.

the world’s economy

10.

Many would-be travelers are

j.

canceling their travel plans

GAP FILL:

Swine flu deaths expected to rise

Health officials from around the world have warned that swine flu may cause more deaths. Nearly 150 people have died so far in Mexico. There are fears that this death toll will rise, and that people will start dying in other countries. There are already around 2,000 reported cases of the virus in Mexico. Countries as far away as New Zealand, Spain, Canada and Scotland have also reported outbreaks. U.S. health officials have warned American citizens that there could be fatalities in the USA. Dr. Richard Besser of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters: "From what we understand in Mexico, I think people need to be ready for the idea that we could see more severe cases in this country and possibly deaths."

Health organizations everywhere are preparing for a pandemic. Scientists say the virus has not been seen before. This means there is not yet a vaccine against it. Dr. Besser warned it was not easy to predict how serious the virus is. He explained: “Outbreaks of infectious diseases are extremely unpredictable and variable, and so over time, what we say about this and what we learn will change.” Many countries are taking precautions to prevent swine flu crossing their borders. However, it is almost impossible to stop the virus entering a country via airplane or ship passengers. The outbreak could be bad for the world’s economy, especially the airline industry. Many would-be travelers are canceling their travel plans and staying at home.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - b

3 - c

4 - d

5 - d

6 - c

7 - a

8 - b

9 - c

10 - a

11 - d

12 - b

 

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