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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 

After returning to Europe, a Swiss scientist was reported to be suffering from Ebola hemorrhagic fever. This was the first case reported in 15 years. Further investigations revealed that the scientist might have been exposed to the virus while studying unexplained deaths among the chimpanzees in the west coast of Africa in November 1994. In April 1995, a medical worker died in a hospital and so did the nurse who cared for him. Now, the population of Kikwit, a town in Zaire, Africa, is threatened with the killer disease -- the Ebola virus.

The Ebola virus and its related strains were first seen in 1976 in Sudan. In that year, 280 people died in a village near the Ebola River from which the virus got its name. The Ebola virus is one of the most mysterious and deadliest killers. It kills 90 per cent of the victims who are infected. It is spread through direct contact with infected blood and other body fluids. Symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, violent diarrheas, vomiting and weakness. Death finally occurs in the second week when blood pours out from the eyes, ears and nose.

Meanwhile, scientists gather to search for answers to cure the hundreds in Kikwit who are infected with this disease. The problem lies in the fact that no one has any idea what the host or carrier of the Ebola virus is. Where does the parasite come from ? When the disease was detected in 1976, scientists killed hundreds of monkeys, bats, rats and other animals in the hope of finding the host of the disease. However, all tested negative. It is highly suspected therefore that the host was Man himself.

There is still no vaccine for the virus but the symptoms can be kept under control. Fortunately, it is not easily transmitted but contact with blood and contaminated needles can spread the infection at an alarming rate. In the meantime, health officials are struggling to confine the virus to Kikwit and its surrounding areas. Spot checks and road blocks are carried out on roads leading into Zaire's capital. However, these attempts have proved to be unsuccessful as soldiers can be bribed easily. Air and sea ports around the world like the US, Thailand, Turkey, Taiwan, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Yemen have also taken steps to tighten the screening of the Ebola virus.

At this moment, the Ebola virus is stable with no new cases reported. 101 people are confirmed dead and 136 infected in Kikwit. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the deadly Ebola virus does not pose a serious international risk. Since the virus is confined to Kikwit, chances of it spreading beyond the area are very unlikely as the virus is spread through contact with blood and not through casual contact or by air.

     
  1. The Ebola virus originated in ______.
       
    (A) Zaire
    (B) Ebola
    (C) Kikwit
    (D) Sudan
       
  2. The Ebola virus is mysterious because ______.
       
    (A) of its unknown carrier
    (B) it comes and goes quickly
    (C) it kills the infected unknowingly
    (D) nobody knows how long its symptoms will persist
       
  3. A person infected with the Ebola virus will not be able to survive the ______.
       
    (A) first week
    (B) second week
    (C) third week
    (D) fourth day
       
  4. When symptoms can be kept under control, it means that ______.
       
    (A) they are self-limiting
    (B) they can be dealt with
    (C) they can spread quickly
    (D) they can be transmitted at a controlled rate
       
  5. What do you think will happen when soldiers are successfully bribed ?
       
    (A) The virus will remain at the place of origin.
    (B) These soldiers will be infected with the virus.
    (C) Carriers of the virus will bring the virus out of the place of origin.
    (D) Infected animals will spread the virus to other animals through air.
       
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  Answers : 1D   2A   3B   4B   5C
 
 
 
 

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