Friday, May 29, 2009

Infectious Diseases, Part 3

Extensive media coverage of the H1N1 virus was a painful reminder that viruses and bacteria know no frontiers.  Like stealthy spies, they can start in one place and rapidly penetrate every nook and cranny of the globe.  bacteria

What terms came up frequently during the recent H1N1  crisis that made us more aware of government measures being taken to assure the public's safety?

A random sample of those terms is given below (two terms are footnoted and indicated by a number):



pollution de l'air air pollution
zoonoses zoonotic diseases(1)
résistance aux médicaments drug resistance
souche strain
virus virus
infection bactérienne bacterial infection
agent antirétroviral antiretroviral agent(2)
maladies infectieuses infectious diseases
immunisations et vaccins immunizations and vaccinations
mesures et d'interventions d'urgence emergency preparedness and response

(1)  The WHO says:  "Any disease and/or infection which is naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to man is classified as a zoonosis...Over 200 zoonoses have been described and...involve all types of agents: bacteria, parasites, viruses and unconventional agents."

(2) An antiretroviral agent is a substance which stops or slows down the activity of a retrovirus like HIV.

When it comes to translating documents about health issues and emergency health procedures, translators have a true ally - the World Health Organization.  I say that because the WHO web site is now in several languages.  It is an excellent starting point for building  health and public safety lexicons in French and English!


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