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[翻译]Health Report - Black Death Older Than We Thought

来源:慢速英语   时间:2015-10-27 07:55:25

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.

这里是美国之音慢速英语健康和生活方式报道。

For most, the word “plague” creates horrible images in the mind of people dropping dead in European villages during the 1300s.

鼠疫这个词在多数人的脑海中留下了14世纪在欧洲传播死亡的恐怖景象。

But the plague has been around for much longer than that. And the scary part is – it is still here.

但是鼠疫存在的时间远久于此。而可怕的是,它仍然存在于此。

As we often say, those who don’t learn from the past are sure to repeat it.

正如我们经常说的,不从过去吸取经验必定会重蹈覆辙。

So, let’s talk about the past.

所以,让我们谈谈过去。

There are three forms of plague are they are all caused by the same bacteria. Bubonic plaguedevelops in the lymph nodes. Pneumonic plaguedevelops in the lungs. The third type, septicemic plague, is the rarest.

鼠疫有三种形式,它们都是由同一种细菌造成的。腺鼠疫形成于淋巴结,肺鼠疫形成于肺部。第三种的败血型鼠疫最为稀少。

These diseases caused the Black Death. The Black Death killed at least a third of the European population in the mid-1300s.

这些疾病引发了黑死病。黑死病造成14世纪中期欧洲三分之一的人口遇难。

However, that was not the first time the plague killed.

然而,这不是第一次鼠疫逞凶。

Danish researchers discovered new evidence that the bacterium responsible for the plague infected people thousands of years earlier.

丹麦研究人员发现的新证据表明,造成鼠疫的细菌在几千年前就感染了人类。

And they discovered it by accident.

他们偶然发现了这种细菌。

They were investigating remains of Bronze Age human beings when they found something unexpected.

他们当时正在调查青铜器时代人类的遗骨,结果发现了一些意想不到的东西。

Within the fossilizedteeth, the researchers found the bacterium that causes Bubonic Plague. It proves the plague was around 4,800 years ago.

在牙齿化石中,研究人员发现了引发腺鼠疫的细菌。这证明鼠疫在4800年左右就已经存在。

However, the bacterium that caused the Black Death was not nearly as aggressive during the Bronze Age. That is the opinion of Simon Rasmussen of Technical University in Denmark.

然而,引发黑死病的细菌在青铜器时代并不活跃。这是丹麦技术大学的西蒙·拉斯穆森(Simon Rasmussen)的看法。

He helped examine more than 100 fossilized teeth. Only seven teeth had evidence of the plague bacterium Y. pestis. These teeth came from remains dating between 2,900 and 4,800 years ago. This suggests that back then, the bacterium did not spread as easily as it did later. 

他帮助检查了超过100颗牙齿化石。只有7颗牙齿存在鼠疫耶尔森氏菌。这些牙齿来自于2900年前到4800年前之间的遗骨。这表明当时细菌并不像后来传播得那么快。

Infected fleas now pass the disease to humans. But genetic evidence proves that the plague did not stowaway, or catch a ride, on the insects during the Bronze Age.

现在被感染的跳蚤会把这种疾病传播给人类。但是基因证据表明在青铜器时代,鼠疫并未借助昆虫传播。

Mr. Rasmussen explains.

拉斯穆森先生解释说。

"The plague in the Bronze Age is missing the gene that makes it able to survive inside the flea. So, what we think is the plague could not actually be transmittedby fleas back then."

“青铜器时代的鼠疫缺乏能够感染跳蚤的基因。因此,我们认为鼠疫当时不能借助跳蚤传播。”

The findings from the study were reported in the journal Cell.

这项研究结果发表在《细胞》杂志上。

How disease affects civilizations

疾病如何影响文明

In another research paper, the same researchers demonstrated a link between this genetic evidence and the history of some world civilizations.

在另一篇研究论文中,同样是这些研究人员展示了这种遗传证据和一些世界文明史之间的联系。

Their paper caused quite a stir, meaning it fueled some interesting discussions. The paper suggests that the plague may have been partly to blame for widespread disease in ancient civilizations. The researchers said the disease could have led to the collapse of Classical Greece and weakened the ancient Roman army.

他们的论文引起了不小的轰动,这意味着它引发了一些有趣的讨论。文章认为,鼠疫可能一定程度上要对古代文明的疾病广泛流行负责。研究人员说,这种疾病可能导致了古希腊的崩溃,并削弱了罗马军队。

The researcher Simon Rasmussen says disease may also have led to a number of ancient mass migrations, or people moving from one place to another. Of course, people would want to flee from disease. Again, here is Mr. Rasumssen.

研究人员拉斯姆森表示,疾病可能还导致了一些古代的大规模移民。当然,人们想要逃离疾病。以下又是拉斯姆森先生的发言。

"Still today and also in the Middle Ages, if there were some kind of diseaseoutbreak, then often people would try to flee from it."

他说,“直到中世纪乃至如今,如果有某种疾病流行,人们往往还是会尝试从中逃离。”

But he says the migrantsbrought the disease with them when they settled new areas.

但他表示,这些移民在定居到新地区时携带着这种疾病。

Plague still among us

鼠疫仍然存在

If you think that cases of the plague are only part of the history of world health – think again. They are rare, but outbreaks do happen.

如果你认为鼠疫案例只是世界卫生历史的一部分,那再好好想想。它们很罕见,但是不时爆发。

The plague struck in India in 1994. At the time, Indian health officials reported nearly 700 cases to the World Health Organization.

1994年鼠疫袭击了印度。当时,印度卫生官员向世界卫生组织报告了近700起病例。

There were several small outbreaks in 2014.

2014年鼠疫还有几次小规模爆发。

Four people in the United States were identified with pneumonic plague. Pneumonic plague is the only form of the disease that can be passed from person-to-person.

美国有四人被确诊为肺鼠疫。肺鼠疫是唯一一种能在人与人之间传播的鼠疫。

Also in 2014, a Chinese man died from the plague after chopping up a dead animal and feeding it to his dogs. No one else died, but Chinese health official quarantinedthe town where he lived until they were sure no one else had caught the plague.

同样是在2014年,一名中国男子在切碎一种死亡动物喂他的狗之后死于鼠疫。没有其他人死亡,但是中国卫生官员隔离了他所生活的小镇,直到确认没有他人感染鼠疫。

The WHO website says there is a current outbreak of plague in Madagascar. The height of this outbreak was in November 2014. At that time, health officials there reported over 300 cases and almost 80 deaths.

世界卫生组织官网表示,马达加斯加最近爆发了一次鼠疫疫情。这次爆发的高峰是在2014年11月。当时,当地卫生官员报告了300多起病例,其中近80人死亡。

If antibiotic treatment is given during the early stages of the disease, Mr. Rasmussen says, the plague is almost completely curable. 

拉斯穆森先生说,如果在这种疾病的早期阶段进行抗生素治疗,鼠疫几乎是完全可以治愈的。

I’m Anna Matteo.

Words in This Story

fossil – n.preserved from a past geologic age : fossilize – v.to become changed into a fossil

transmit– v.to cause to be given to others, such as a virus or disease

gene– n. biology: a part of a cell that controls or influences the appearance, growth, etc., of a living thing (genomic, genetic

stowaway – n.someone who hides on a ship, airplane, etc., in order to travel without paying or being seen

outbreak – n.a sudden start or increase of fighting or disease

flee – v.to run away from danger : to run away from (a place)

migrant – n.a person who goes from one place to another especially

rare– adj. seldom occurring or found : uncommon

quarantine– v./n.the period of time during which a person or animal that has a disease or that might have a disease is kept away from others to prevent the disease from spreading

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