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Directions: Analyse the given passage carefully!
When Allan Little began to feel ill, he knew almost immediately what it was - Lyme Disease. But getting a medical diagnosis and treatment took a lot longer. I'd been going for years to the same little town in New England and Lyme Disease is everywhere there. You can't walk more than a few hundred meters in the countryside without coming across a public health notice warning you not to get bitten by a deer tick.
So the intense headache, the aching limbs, the burning joints, the ferocious fever and night sweats that hit me in a matter of hours, a few days after I'd got back to London, were all consistent with what I'd read about the condition. I went to a London GP, who wasn't convinced. She took a blood sample and advised me to go home, rest, and take paracetamol. The next day, the blood test came back. It was negative for Lyme. My condition grew worse. I could hardly stand up. I called another doctor, who came to my house. He was also skeptical. He took another blood test. This too came back negative. But he gave me a prescription for powerful painkillers which made me feel well enough to get on a train to Edinburgh, my hometown.
Within three hours of arriving at Waverley Station, I was an in-patient in the Infectious Diseases Department of the city's Western General Hospital: diagnosis, Acute Lyme Disease. By now I had found the tick bite and the distinctive livid red rash, about six inches in diameter. (To be fair to those London GPs, I hadn't noticed it when I'd consulted them.)"It's attacked your liver," the Edinburgh Consultant said. "You have three distinct kinds of liver inflammation". I made a lame sick-bed joke: "You're sure that's not like Lager-and-Lime Disease then?" She laughed politely and reassured me that that would look quite different. Why then had both blood tests come back negative? Dr. Roger Evans of Raigmore Hospital in Inverness is one of the UK's leading Lyme Disease researchers. "In early Lyme Disease," he told me, "the test is not reliable because no antibodies have been produced. In the first few weeks of infection, you could test negative, but still have Lyme Disease."
This is a problem for GPs, especially in urban centers where Lyme Disease is unfamiliar. Lyme is not a viral infection. It's bacterial. GPs will not prescribe antibiotics if they think you're showing symptoms of a viral infection - and it does look and feel like a bad case of flu, or chronic fatigue syndrome, neither of which can, or should, be treated with antibiotics. "In the early weeks of infection, when the blood test is not reliable," says Evans, "the GP needs to assess the patient clinically, looking for other symptoms that identify Lyme Disease." In other words, symptoms that distinguish it from flu.
If you have been bitten:
Catching it early is vital. Angela Howard fell ill with Lyme Disease in the 1990s. She had never heard of it. Her doctor, she says, told her to go home and see whether her symptoms persisted. It was only when a visiting American friend saw the distinctive rash - concentric red rings around the place where the tick bite had occurred that she realized she might have Lyme Disease. She says her doctor was still reluctant to diagnose Lyme. "Doctors say you can only get this abroad - that it comes from overseas. But I hadn't been abroad. I'd been picnicking in Wiltshire." She was not treated early and her symptoms have persisted for years.
There is an accumulation of anecdotal evidence that Lyme Disease often goes undiagnosed. One problem is that no one knows how prevalent it now is. It is not a notifiable disease in the National Health Service - doctors are not required to inform a central database when they diagnose it. So there is no reliable evidence of how widespread it is, or where in the country you are most likely to get it. Roger Evans at Raigmore Hospital wants to remedy that.
"We're using Scotland as a pilot study," he said. "We're trying to create maps of areas where there's a risk of tick exposure. We're using satellite data from the European Space Agency to create an app that will give information, but which will also be interactive so that users can put in information about where they've been bitten and whether the Lyme Disease rash has appeared." Why has Lyme, which 30 years ago seemed largely limited to a small area of New England - Lyme is the town in Connecticut where it was first identified - now so prevalent across the continental USA and in Europe? One theory is climate change: that small gradations in climate can create new habitats for micro-organisms, or keep them alive and active for longer.
I was struck, at the time of my own treatment, that awareness was far greater in Scotland than in England and Wales. And awareness of the condition is vital to catching it early. For when you catch it early, treatment is easy and in most cases successful. It floors you though. It took me four or five months to get my strength and stamina back. It is a debilitating and dangerous illness and there is no doubt that it is getting more common. You can get it in the Scottish Highlands, in Devon and Cornwall, in Richmond Park in London, and probably in your own back garden - anywhere where there are small furry animals on whose skins a deer tick can live. If you get it, you can get treatment. But take it from me: it really helps if you know what it is you've got.
Questions 1-8: Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage? Answer True, False or Not given. Note:
True: if the statement agrees with the information
False: if the statement contradicts the information
Not given: if there is no information on this
Q.1. Alan had no doubt about his illness from the beginning.
Q.2. Both blood tests were negative for Lyme Disease.
Q.3. Alan didn't become a Waverley Station patient for more than 3 hours.
Q.4. Blood tests were inaccurate because they were taken unprofessionaly.
Q.5. Lyme Disease is very unfamiliar in the UK.
Q.6. When bitten, you should remove the tick, preferably with a tool.
Q.7. After you remove the tick and apply antiseptic, you should take paracetamol.
Q.8. It is advise to contact a doctor, if you feel ill after removing the tick.
Questions 9-13: Complete the sentences below. Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Q.9. Angela's friend recognized the Lyme Disease as soon as she saw the _______ rash.
Q.10. One problem is, it's unknown how _______ Lyme Disease is nowadays.
Q.11. Roger Evans says that they try to create maps of Scotland where there's a risk of_______
Q.12. The one possible reason for Lyme Diseaes to move all over the world is _______ .
Q.13. You can catch the disease even in your own back _______ .
Solution of 1:
Alan had no doubt about his illness from the beginning. - True
Solution of 2:
Both blood tests were negative for Lyme Disease. - True
Solution of 3:
Alan didn't become a Waverley Station patient for more than 3 hours. - False
Solution of 4:
Blood tests were inaccurate because they were taken unprofessionaly. - False
Solution of 5:
Lyme Disease is very unfamiliar in the UK. - Not Given
Solution of 6:
When bitten, you should remove the tick, preferably with a tool. - True
Solution of 7:
After you remove the tick and apply antiseptic, you should take paracetamol. - Not Given
Solution of 8:
It is advise to contact a doctor, if you feel ill after removing the tick. - True
Solution of 9:
Angela's friend recognized the Lyme Disease as soon as she saw the (distinctive) rash.
Solution of 10:
One problem is, it's unknown how (prevalent) Lyme Disease is nowadays.
Solution of 11:
Roger Evans says that they try to create maps of Scotland where there's a risk of (tick exposure).
Solution of 12:
The one possible reason for Lyme Diseaes to move all over the world is (climate change).
Solution of 13:
You can catch the disease even in your own back (garden).