5-speed listening (Level 3)

Centuries-old diseases coming back



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Many diseases that doctors thought had almost disappeared are now making a comeback. Britain's National Health Service (NHS) has reported a serious rise in the number of people with diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), cholera, measles and whooping cough. An NHS spokesperson said that TB is now more common in England than it is in less developed countries such Rwanda, Iraq, and Guatemala. Tuberculosis is also increasing across the globe. In 2013, it killed 1.5 million people worldwide, and that number is rising. Tuberculosis largely affects very poor people. It is an infectious disease that affects the lungs. Its symptoms include bad coughs, fever, weight loss and sweating.

Researchers say that many of the diseases that are making a comeback are both preventable and treatable. One big problem in England is that TB is affecting old people who have malnutrition – they do not have enough to eat. The number of elderly who have to go without food has doubled in the past three years. This is putting these old people in greater danger of getting TB. A UK doctor said she did not understand why society wasn't doing more to fight TB. She said: "Malnutrition is preventable. It is totally unacceptable that…there are at least one million older people malnourished or at risk of malnourishment." She said there needed to be a bigger focus on better nutrition and proper medicine.

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