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Wednesday, 24 December 2014


Have a look at the Ebola Word List and Ebola Vocab YouTube clip. Get your head around the vocab, then read on - explore the news about Ebola and boost your English.

The first story today is about Dr Thomas. R. Frieden, who is head of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. He has just been for a look at the Ebola affected countries. These countries are of course Sierra Leone (8939 cases), Liberia (7830 cases), and Guinea (2571 cases). These numbers are cases, not deaths.

He came back with some good news and some bad news. The good news is that he traveled to remote areas and saw good progress. A couple of months back there were no medical centres, and the locals didn't trust the health workers. Now both those problems are fixed, so they are making a start.
The bad news? He visited Conakry (Guinea's capital) and found there weren't enough beds for sick people. This is bad as the sick people stay in the community and spread the disease.

Next is the mystery about why some/most people die from Ebola, but just a handful seem to be immune to the disease. The scientists are studying these people to try and find out what it is about their bodies that creates immunity. What they have found so far is that in the people who die, the first-responder immune cells break down and don't work properly, while those with immunity have cells that identify the Ebola and create proteins that can kill it. The story goes on to talk about the risks that the nurses face. It's all scary stuff.

Finally, English folk who are bravely and selflessly going to the Ebola zone to help sick people and try and stop the disease spreading are facing all manner of problems when they go home. And they aren't happy. Not happy at all. What kind of trouble? For a start they can't take trips on public transport that last over an hour. So if your house is three hours from the airport, you have to 乗り換え twice. I know everyone is afraid, and we must be careful, but we just can't make life too difficult for those returning, or people won't volunteer.

Have a nice Christmas Eve.