swine – an old word meaning “pig”
reveal – to show; to indicate
outbreak – the sudden start of a disease, a war, violence, etc. การระบาดของโรค
mutate – to become physically different from other viruses, plants or animals as a result of a genetic change เปลี่ยนแปลง,เปลี่ยนรูป
spread – to gradually affect or cover a larger area แพร่หลาย, แพร่กระจาย
measure – an action taken to solve a problem or deal with something มาตรการ
on alert – ready to deal with a dangerous situation เตรียมพร้อมสำหรับ
surveillance – the process of carefully watching a person or place การเฝ้าตรวจตราอย่างเข้มงวด
beef up – to strengthen เสริมกำลัง,ทำให้แข็งแรง, ทำให้มีพละกำลัง
strain – a particular type of virus, animal, insect, or plant สายพันธุ์
swift – quick
endure – to suffer something difficult or unpleasant in a patient way over a long period of time อดทน
scare – a situation that makes people suddenly feel worried or frightened about something ความหวาดกลัว, ความตื่นตระหนก
snap to attention – to suddenly pay attention; to suddenly focus on something
monitor – to regularly check something or watch something to find out what is happening ตรวจ, ติดตาม, เฝ้าสังเกต
devise – to invent a method of doing something คิดขึ้นใหม่
ban – an official statement ordering people not to do, sell or use something คำสั่งห้าม, การห้าม
import – to buy a product from another country and bring it to your country การนำเข้า
in the wake of – happening after or as a result of an event สิ่งที่ส่งผลตามมา
contain – to successfully bring something bad under control or to limit it to a particular area ควบคุม, จำกัด
vendor – someone who sells something but not in a shop ผู้ขาย
abattoir – a place where animals are killed for meat โรงฆ่าสัตว์
precaution – something done to protect people or things against possible harm or trouble การระมัดระวังไว้ก่อน,การป้องกันไว้ก่อน
protective gear – equipment used to prevent something bad from happening to you
raw – uncooked ดิบ
quarantine – keeping a person or animal away from other people to prevent the spread of disease การกักไว้อย่างเข้มงวดเพื่อป้องกันการแพร่ของเชื้อโรค
collaboration – the process of working together with someone else ความร่วมมือ
issue – a problem that needs to be considered ปัญหา,ประเด็น
effective – produces the result that was intended ได้ผลดี
recurrence – happening again การกลับมาใหม่
panic – a sudden feeling of fear or worry that makes you unable to think clearly or calmly ความตื่นตกใจ
transmission – the spreading of a disease การแพร่เชื้อ
patient – someone who is receiving medical treatment คนป่วย, คนไข้
face mask – a covering for all or part of the face (see photo above)
huddle – to move close together to stay safe or warm เกาะกลุ่มกัน
track – to follow or find someone or something by looking at the evidence where they have gone ติดตาม
symptom – a sign that someone has an illness อาการ
impose – to require that people follow a new law, rule, etc. กำหนด, บังคับให้มี
potential – possible or likely in the future ที่อาจเกิดขึ้นได้
pandemic – a disease that affects almost everyone in a very large area การระบาดไปทั่ว,
snowball – to develop quickly and become very big or serious เพิ่มทวี,ใหญ่ขึ้น
grapple with – to try hard to solve a difficult problem ต่อสู้ดิ้นรนกับ
retail sector – the part of the economy that sells things directly to the public ภาคการขายปลีก
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน
evolution – the way in which something gradually changes or develops การเจริญเติบโต,วิวัฒนาการ
infection – the process of getting a disease or catching a disease form someone else การติดเชื้อ
tropical – in or from the hottest parts of the world เกี่ยวกับเขตร้อน
port of entry – a place where someone enters a country
pose – to create a difficult or dangerous situation เป็นต้นเหตุของ
surface – to become known or obvious after being hidden ปรากฏ
globally – throughout the world ทั่วโลก
The latest statistics out of Mexico reveal that 81 people have died in the swine flu outbreak there and more than 300 are ill. The good news is that 900 other victims have been declared free of the disease, meaning that it may not be quite as deadly as first thought. The worry, however, is that the virus causing the disease will mutate further and increase in strength. The other problem is that viruses in pigs are far more likely to spread to humans than the avian flu virus that has been such a concern in recent years.
The story below has two parts. The first deals with measures Thai authorities are putting in place to prevent the disease from spreading here. The second part of the story deals with Mexico and the rest of the world.
Nation on alert for swine flu outbreak
Surveillance beefed up as virus kills Mexicans
Two people sit among empty seats at the Diving World Series in Mexico City, Mexico. Mexico closed schools across its capital after at least 80 otherwise healthy people died and more than 900 others fell ill from what could be a new strain of swine flu. AP
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has called for swift action to step up surveillance on a swine influenza outbreak which has killed more than 80 people in Mexico.
Asian countries, many of which endured the Sars outbreak and bird flu scares, have snapped to attention.
The Public Health Ministry has confirmed there is no outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu virus here.
Mr Abhisit yesterday said authorities would monitor the outbreak closely and devise measures to protect people from the deadly virus.
Livestock Development Department chief Yukol Limlamthong said the department had issued a ban on the import of live pigs from the US and Mexico in the wake of the outbreak.
Thailand has imported live breeding pigs from the US in recent years. The latest lot of 50 breeding pigs was imported in 2006, Dr Yukol said.
‘‘The ban will remain until the outbreak has been contained,’’ he said.
Mr Abhisit warned pork vendors, pig farms and abattoir workers to take precautions against the disease by wearing protective gear when in direct contact with the animals.
He said consumers should avoid eating raw pork.
Deputy permanent secretary for public health Paijit Warachit said the ministry had instructed health quarantine units at every border entry point, including airports, to step up surveillance to prevent suspected cases entering the country.
‘‘We will pay special attention to people travelling from affected countries,’’ he said.
Health authorities will meet with experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Thailand-US public health collaboration centre on the issue.
Disease Control Department chief Somchai Chakrabhand said the agency had sufficient anti-influenza drugs to prevent and treat the illness in the event of an outbreak in Thailand.
Thailand’s bird flu surveillance and disease control has proved to be effective in limiting and preventing a recurrence of bird flu outbreaks.
Permanent secretary for public health Prat Boonyawongwirote said the public should not panic and well-cooked pork was safe to eat.
While people usually get swine influenza from infected pigs, human-to-human transmission can occur through close contact with patients, Dr Prat said.
He said anyone who experienced flu-like symptoms should wear a face mask and avoid crowded areas.
In Mexico, people huddled inside their homes while US hospitals tracked patients with flu symptoms and other countries imposed health checks at airports as the WHO warned the virus had the potential to become a pandemic.
The epidemic has snowballed into a major headache for Mexico, already grappling with a violent drug war and economic slowdown.
Mexico’s tourism and retail sectors could be badly hit by the crisis.
The WHO declared the flu a ‘‘public health event of international concern’’. WHO director-general Margaret Chan urged greater worldwide surveillance for any unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness.
‘‘[We are] monitoring minute by minute the evolution of this problem across the whole country,’’ Mexican President Felipe Calderon said as health officials counted suspected infections in six states from the tropical south to the northern border.
Countries across Asia have taken immediate action. At airports and other border checkpoints in Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, officials were screening travellers for any flu-like symptoms.
China now requires people coming from swine flu-affected places to report any flu-like symptoms at ports of entry.
Argentina declared a health alert, requiring anyone arriving on flights from Mexico to advise if they have symptoms.
The new flu strain, a mixture of various swine, bird and human viruses, poses the biggest risk of a large-scale pandemic since avian flu surfaced in 1997, killing several hundred people. A 1968 ‘‘Hong Kong’’ flu pandemic killed about a million people globally.