【阅读】考研英语经济学人文章读译 Day 9 Ominous
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Ominous Feb 23rd 2006 From The Economist print edition

FOR most of the past three years, the highly pathogenic bird flu k________① as H5N1 has been found mainly in Asia. Suddenly it has arrived in many countries in Europe, triggering widespread alarm. The detection of the virus in wild birds across Europe is certainly a cause for concern, particularly to Europe’s poultry farmers▲, who are rightfully worried that the presence of the virus in wild birds will increase the risk to their flocks. However, in the m_________② of a European debate about the benefits of vaccinating chickens and whether or not poultry should be brought indoors, there is a danger that far more significant events elsewhere will be ★overlooked[1].

In particular, most attention should be f________③ on the fact that bird flu is now widespread in the poultry flocks of two nations in Africa—Egypt and Nigeria—and in India. And on the fact that, in Nigeria, the disease is continuing to spread despite great efforts undertaken by the government. An outbreak in Afghanistan also appears to be inevitable.

Arguably, these matter much more than the (also inevitable) arrival of the disease in Europe▲. Poor countries with large rural populations are in a far weaker position to handle, and ★stamp out[2], outbreaks of bird flu in poultry, through both ★culling[3] and the prevention of the movement of animals in the surrounding areas. In Africa and India, chickens and ducks are far more likely to be found ★roaming[4] in people’s backyards, where they can mingle with humans, other d________④ animals and wildlife, thus spreading the disease. In Europe, by c_______⑤, most poultry are kept in regulated commercial farms.

The opening up of a new African front for the bird-flu virus▲ is a problem because eradication there will be tremendously difficult. There is a high risk that the disease will spread to other countries on the continent and it could easily become endemic—as it has in Asia. This offers the virus huge new scope to mutate▲ and become a disease that can pass between humans. The virus is certainly mutating—genetic changes have already affected its biological behaviour, although apparently not yet its transmission between humans. Experts are unsure as to how much, and what kind, of genetic changes would be required for the virus to become a global health threat. N_____⑥ do they know how long this process might take.

But to ★dwell on[5] the increased risk of a pandemic of influenza is to miss a serious point about the direct risks posed by the loss of a large numbers of chickens and ducks across Africa. For some time, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has been warning that if avian flu gets out of c_______⑦ in Africa, it will have a devastating impact on the livelihoods of millions of people. Poultry is a vital source of protein. For example, it provides almost 50% of the protein in the diet of Egyptians. The spread of a disease that is highly lethal to poultry, and requires culling, could have a ★dire[6] nutritional impact, there as elsewhere▲. Africa would also have to contend with huge economic losses. People who ★scratch out[7] a living in poor African nations simply cannot a_______⑧ to lose their chickens. Most of the world’s poor live in rural areas and depend on agriculture. In Africa, rather a lot of these poor people depend heavily on their poultry. It is easy to see why some believe that bird flu could turn out to be primarily a development—rather than just a health—issue for the whole African continent.

No game of chicken

What can be done? It is clear that the movement and trade of poultry is making a big contribution to the spread of the virus. That trade needs tighter regulation, as does the movement of live birds from countries with H5N1 infections. In such places trade should be suspended u_______⑨ flocks have been cleaned up.

In addition, Nigeria and surrounding countries need serious public-education campaigns about the danger of contact with dead birds. When outbreaks o______⑩, governments should immediately offer realistic compensation to farmers for birds lost to disease and culling▲. Without this, poor farmers will be tempted to hide bird-flu outbreaks and continue to sell poultry that should be culled. Farming practices that mix poultry species in farms or live animal markets are a danger too, and must be addressed—although that might take longer. The effort would be helped if those in the poultry industry and governments in poultry-exporting nations would stop simply pointing to the risks posed by wild birds and start paying more attention to the movement of animals, products and people from infected to un-infected regions and countries.

Unusually for a complex problem with international ★ramifications[8], money is available to make a serious attempt at tackling it▲—$1.9 billion was pledged by the world’s wealthier nations last month in Beijing. There is no excuse for delay, unless we want more dead people to follow lots more dead ducks.

☆★注释☆★ [1]overlook vt.(1)俯瞰,俯视 The house on the hill overlooks the village. 从小山上的房子可以俯视村庄。 (2)忽略;没注意;漏看 You have overlooked several of the mistakes in this work. 你忽略了这个工作中的几个错误。 The secretary is very careful and never overlooks any little points. 秘书是个很细心的人她从不忽视细节。 [2]stamp out 扑灭,踩灭;毁灭,根除 =do away with; eradicate [3]cull vt.挑出老弱或劣质动物杀死:Every year the groups of seals that live off our coasts are culled because they eat too much fish. 每年居住在我们海岸边的海豹群都被人挑出一部分杀死,因为他们吃掉太多的鱼。 [4]roam vi.& vt. 游荡;闲逛 The visitors roamed around the town.这些来访者在城里游逛。 [5]dwell on vt.细想,说得过于详细: Don’t dwell so much on your past.过去的事不必再长篇大论了。 [6]dire adj.(1)迫切的,重大的(指需要;危险):be in dire need of food极需食物 (2)可怕的:a dire warning可怕的预兆 [7]scratch a living =to scrape a living (收入)勉强足以糊口 [8]ramification n.(通常复数)分支,支派(尤指看法、规律等);(网状组织的)分支,支流,分叉:the ramifications of a business/of a railway system 商店分号/铁路系统分支 不祥之兆(全文) 过去的近三年中,H5N1型高致病性禽流感主要出现在亚洲,如今已波及许多欧洲国家,为我们敲响了疫情广泛流行的警钟。从途经欧洲的野生禽类体内检测出的禽流感病毒肯定让人们感到担忧,尤其是对于欧洲家禽养殖农户而言更是如此。这些农户担心野生禽类携带的病毒将危及到他们的家禽,这种担心无可厚非。不过,在关于给鸡注射疫苗到底有没有用以及应不应该对家禽实行圈养的这场争论中,欧洲人可能会忽视别的一些极为重要的事情,这很危险。





别拿鸡当儿戏 如何是好呢?显而易见,家禽的流动和交易对禽流感病毒的播散起到了很大作用。我们必须对禽类交易以及来自H5N1病毒感染疫区国家的活禽流动进行严格管控。在病禽尚未彻底扑杀之前,这些地区应当停止禽类交易。



完形填空答案(以原文为准,请自行辨析): ①known ②midst ③focused ④domestic ⑤contrast ⑥Nor ⑦control ⑧afford ⑨until ⑩occur

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