Reading Sample 13- HEAT MAY BE NATURE'S DEADLIEST KILLER (B1/B2) (Long Reading)


Heat May Be Nature’s Deadliest Killer

         Extremely hot weather is common in many parts of the world and it can cause serious medical problems -- even death. Subsequent hot days considered as a heat wave can make human body feel tense. Experts say heat waves often become hazardous when the nighttime temperature does not drop much from the highest daytime temperature. This causes great stress on the human body particularly when it lasts more than a few days.

         The most common health problem associated with hot weather is heat stress. Usually, it is also the least severe. The causes of heat stress include wearing heavy clothing, physical work or exercise, hot weather and high humidity, the amount of water in the air.  If several of these conditions are present at the same time, a person’s body temperature may rise above safe levels. The person loses large amounts of body water and salt in perspiration. Perspiration is one of the body’s defences against heat.  It is how the body lets out water to cool the skin.  Most people suffer only muscle pain because of heat stress. The pain is a warning that the body is becoming too hot. People are advised to stop all activity and rest in a cool place. They should also consume cool liquids. Unless they stop physical activity for a few hours some severe conditions could develop.

       Some people face an increased danger from heat stress. They may have a weak or damaged heart, high blood pressure or other problems of the blood system. Severe heat increases problems for small children, older adults and those who have the disease diabetes.  It can be fatal for people who weigh too much and have too much body fat, and for those who consume alcohol. Hot weather also increases dangers for those who must take medicine for high blood pressure, poor blood flow, nervousness or depression.

       Untreated heat stress can lead to a more serious problem called heat exhaustion. A person suffering from heat exhaustion loses too much water through perspiration. The person becomes dehydrated.  A person suffering heat exhaustion feels weak and extremely tired.  He or she may have trouble walking normally. Heat exhaustion may also produce a feeling of sickness, a fast heartbeat, breathing problems and pain in the head, chest or stomach. People with such problems are advised to rest quietly in a cool place and consume plenty of water. It may be helpful to wash with cool water.

      Heat exhaustion can develop quickly. It also can develop slowly, over a period of days. Doctors call this dehydration exhaustion. Each day, the body loses only a little more water than is taken in. The person may not even know this problem is developing. If the problem continues for several days, the effects will be the same as the usual kind of heat exhaustion.  Experts say even a two percent drop in the body's water supply can cause signs of dehydration. These signs include problems with memory and even simple mathematics.

      Dehydration limits a person's ability to work and think. A reduction of only four or five percent in body water leads to a drop of twenty to thirty percent in workability. The loss of salt through perspiration also reduces the amount of work that muscles can do. The medication for dehydration exhaustion is the same as for heat exhaustion. 

      Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke if it is not treated. Heat stroke is the most serious disorder linked to hot weather. It results when the body is not able to control its temperature. The body’s temperature increases and perspiration fails.  Generally, the body temperature rises to more than forty degrees Celsius. The body stops perspiring. The skin becomes dry and very hot. A person may become unconscious, not knowing what is happening.  Doctors say tissues and organs begin to cook when the body's temperature is higher than forty-two degrees Celsius. Permanent brain damage and death may result. Someone suffering heat stroke requires immediate medical attention.  Doctors say such treatment is necessary or the person could die before help arrives.

       Experts say it is important to know the danger signs of the medical disorders linked to hot weather. It is also important to know what to do if the signs appear…in yourself or in someone else.


1- Fill in each blank with appropriate information from the paragraph one and two.

Extreme hot weather can have considerable medical issues including (a) ___________. Several hot days that follow each other is called (b)____________. The least serious health issue associated with hot weather is heat stress which results from (c)______________, (d)_______________, (e)________________ and (f)__________________. In one of these conditions, the person loses a large amount of body water and salt in (g)______________ in which he body releases water to (h)_________________. This is one of the body’s defences against heat. Experts suggest that people should (i) ______________, (k)______________ or (L)________________. Otherwise,  (m)_______________.


2- The word "subsequent" in paragraph one is closest in meaning to 

  1. consecutive  
  2. previous
  3. poor
  4. prosperous 

3- Which of the following is not mentioned about heat exhaustion?

  1. the factors of heat exhaustion.
  2. the consequences of heat exhaustion.
  3. the types of heat exhaustion.
  4. the duration of heat exhaustion.

4- What is the treatment for dehydration exhaustion?


5- What is the main idea of the passage?

  1. Heat exhaustion needs urgent treatment.
  2. Extremely hot weather is not a new phenomenon.    
  3. A large number of people are unaware of the serious consequences of extremely hot weather.
  4. Knowing the right and appropriate medication is highly crucial.  


6- The word "fatal" in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to ______________

  1. beneficial
  2. mystical
  3. hazardous
  4. functional



Click here to Show / Hide Answers.

1.a. death   b.heat wave  c. wearing heavy clothing    d.physical work or exercise e. hot weather    f.high humidity  g.perspiration   h. cool the skin i.stop all activity in a cool place l. consume cool liquids. m.some severe conditions could develop



4. Doctors say people with such problems should rest quietly in a cool place and drink plenty of water. They also say it may help to wash with cool water.



Add comment

Security code