Fiction or Nonfiction Practice Exercises (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 29, 2011

Practice 3: Health Feature: Flu Facts 

Read the selection, and then answer the questions that follow.

(1) It's that time of year again. Just yesterday two of my friends said, "I was absent last week because I had the flu." Now it's true that lots of people say they have "the flu," but just what is it, anyway?
(2) Influenza, or "the flu," is a serious, contagious respiratory, or breathing, illness. It's caused by a virus and spreads through tiny droplets in the air after someone who has the flu coughs or sneezes. So how do you know if someone has the flu or just a very bad cold? Well, generally, someone who comes down with the flu suddenly:
  • has a fever.
  • has headaches.
  • has muscle and joint pain.
  • has a sore throat and a bad cough.
  • has a runny or stuffy nose.
  • is very fatigued, with barely enough energy to move.
(3) Flu symptoms usually appear one to three days after you've been infected, and you remain contagious to other people for three to four days after your symptoms start. That's why the flu travels through a whole community, like a school.
(4) Most people get better within a week, but the flu can cause some pretty serious complications, like pneumonia. That's especially true for the little kids, the elderly, and anyone who already has breathing problems like asthma.
(5) Antibiotics that kill bacteria can't kill a virus, so doctors don't prescribe them to treat the flu. But there are new anti-flu medicines that can help reduce the seriousness and length of the illness. They have to be taken early, when the symptoms first start. Other than that, the only things you can do to treat the fever, headaches, and muscle pains of the flu is to drink plenty of liquids, take pain relievers, and rest.
(6) Isn't there any way people can protect themselves from getting the flu? Well, it helps to remind others to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, and to wash your hands often! But the most effective protection is to get a vaccination, or "flu shot."
(7) Since there are different flu viruses, scientists have to create a vaccine to work on the virus currently circulating. A yearly flu shot is recommended. It provides 70–90% protection against infection for about a year. But even if you do get the flu anyway, your chances of getting serious complications are greatly reduced.
(8) A flu outbreak in 1918–1919 was worldwide. One-fifth of the world's population was infected and 20–40 million people died. Today people worry about the "Bird Flu." The virus is found mostly in birds, but since 1997, some humans have been infected. So far, only a few hundred people have died from "Bird Flu," but experts say it's only a matter of time before this, or some other flu, causes another pandemic. So take care of yourself … and cover that cough!
9. Which is the best clue that this selection is nonfiction?
a. It gives real facts and statistics.
b. It uses the word you.
c. It has the words to a song.
d. Some of the words rhyme.
10. Where would you most likely find this selection?
a. in an encyclopedia
b. in a math textbook
c. in a book of fairytales
d. in a magazine
11. This nonfiction selection reads somewhat like fiction because the author
a. tells about a science subject.
b. talks directly to the reader, using the word you.
c. explains what flu symptoms are.
d. gives dates and statistics, like percentages.
12. Where would you most likely find the following? Influenza, a contagious, viral, respiratory illness. Symptoms: fever, headache, muscle/joint pain, sore throat, cough, runny/stuffy nose, fatigue
a. in a cookbook
b. in a mystery story
c. in an encyclopedia
d. in a poem
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