It would be no exaggeration to say that no disease has had a more devastating impact on the history of mankind than malaria. Consider the numbers: an estimated one to three million people are killed each year by the mosquito-borne illness, most of them young children in sub-Saharan Africa. It is likely that the Plasmodium parasite that causes malaria has been with mankind throughout its entire development as a species, especially since a close relative of the parasite that causes malaria in humans is common in chimpanzees. In ancient times, malaria was not limited to sub-tropical areas. It was common in Rome, and it may in fact have contributed to the decline of the mighty Roman Empire. The great armies of the Persian king Darius III could not defeat Alexander the Great, but malaria managed to stop his armies upon his arrival in India. There is even speculation that malaria may have ended the life of the great Macedonian ruler, who died under mysterious circumstances in 323 BC. But one need not turn the clock back so far to see the effects of malaria on the world’s events. As recently as World War II, malaria was responsible for the deaths of sixty thousand American soldiers in the Pacific campaigns, and American troops were still dying from the disease as they waged battle in Vietnam in the early 70s. But the most important effect is in Africa, where the disease continues to devastate entire villages that, due to their proximity to sources of water, serve an important function as the bread basket of Africa. By killing entire families of farmers, malaria is perpetuating the circle of poverty that makes eradicating the disease so hard in the first place.
1.This article is mainly about
a) the link between malaria and chimpanzees,
b) the effect of malaria on the history of man,
c) showing that malaria is the deadliest
disease in the world,
d) the effect of malaria on the outcome of wars.
2. According to the article, which of the following
might represent the number of people killed
by malaria each year?
a) 800 thousand,
b) two million,
c) four million,
d) half a million.
3. In ancient times, malaria
a) was more widespread than it is now,
b) killed more people than it does now,
c) was limited to sub-tropical areas,
d) was used as a weapon by armies.
4. The article implies that
a) Alexander the Great would have conquered
India if not for malaria,
b) poverty in Africa is the result of diseases
c) Darius III was unable to defeat Alexander
the Great because of malaria,
d) malaria had an effect on the course of
5. The article establishes a link between malaria
and the outcome of World War II.
6. What do you think the term “bread basket of
Africa” (underlined) means?
a) this is talking about an area of Africa where
baskets are made,
b) it refers to Africa’s food-producing regions,
c) these are stores where bread is made,
d) it is a generic term used to refer to any area
7. The last sentence implies that poverty
perpetuates malaria and vice versa.
8. The mood of the article is
Answer key: 1.b 2.b 3.a 4.d 5.fals 6.b 7.true 8.b