Influenza and Illness

Vocabulary | Listenings


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In today’s virus-ravaged world, it is important to learn the language you need to speak about viruses and illness. This lesson will give you all the information you need. It’s based on a video English lesson I made in 2011 when I came down with flu. I thought I should revisit it during the Great Lockdown of 2020. After watching the videos, do the quiz to practice what you have learnt.

The word influenza comes from the medieval Latin meaning from the stars it was originally thought that the great outbreaks of influenza epidemics were influenced or caused by the stars. We now know that influenza is caused by a virus. Influenza is also known as flu, a contagious infection of the respiratory tract.  Flu spreads quickly because it is very contagious. When a lot of people have caught the flu, it is called an epidemic. I caught the flu last week. That's why I'm making this video. If somebody catches the flu from you, you give them the flu. I don't think I've given anyone the flu. The symptoms of flu are fever. The normal temperature of an adult human is 37 degrees centigrade. A temperature higher than thirty-seven point two degrees centigrade is called a fever or a temperature. I had a temperature last week I had a temperature 38 degrees centigrade last week. I took my temperature with a thermometer. I also had chills. I had muscle aches too I had a cough. I felt unusually tired with no appetite. I was sneezing a lot and my nose was running I was lucky I had a mild form of flu. some people are not so lucky. Some people have a severe form of flu. I took some paracetamol and stayed in bed. this is the standard treatment for flu. some people are admitted to hospital with the flu. severe forms of flu can leave the victim in a critical condition. flue also kills thousands of people every year. I do not know if my flu was seasonal flu or swine flu. the symptoms of both are the same. swine flu is a pandemic infection. there were flu pandemics in 1968 1957 and 1918. the 1918 pandemic was the worst. between 25 million and 50 million people died worldwide from the Spanish flu. Spanish flu caused the pneumonia capable of killing even the young and healthy. it is likely to be a few more days before I am fully recovered. I find it incredible that something so tiny as a virus can make me feel so down in the dumps. a virus so tiny poses the biggest threat to our survival as individuals and as a species. Viruses are so small they cannot be seen except with the most powerful electron microscopes. the flu virus is a non-cellular structure. the virus does not have any processes of metabolism. it has a core of the genetic material RNA surrounded by a protein coat. the flu virus is thousands of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. governments take action to control the disease. scientists develop vaccines against different types of flu virus. doses of flu vaccine are given using a hypodermic needle and syringe. the flu virus mutates rapidly so vaccines are only ever effective against the current strain of virus. 

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