Your GRE Question by GRE Question a Day



Directions: Reading Comprehension - read the following passage to answer the question below.

A killer more virulent than war and responsible for more American deaths than all 20th century wars combined, the Spanish influenza outbreak of 1918 was the world's deadliest plague. Initially ignored by a nation distracted by World War I, the United States quickly sunk into widespread fear of the disease that had no cure. Unfortunately, the lack of understanding of how influenza is transmitted combined with slow reaction of the U.S. government to a looming health crisis cost as many as 600,000 American lives and resulted in the death of 30 million people worldwide.

Influenza is a disease caused by a virus, typically affecting the nose, throat and, occasionally, the lungs. It is highly contagious, easily passed on by infected human beings when they sneeze or cough, releasing microscopic particles and droplets containing the virus into the air. The fact that breathing is essential makes influenza difficult to avoid if there is a widespread epidemic. Once it was determined that the influenza was passed on by breathing, masks were required in several American cities, but they were of little use because the tiny microbes that carried the disease easily passed through the flimsy cloth masks. This particular strain of the flu, which we now know was a member of the H1N1 family, was particularly lethal because the protein coating of the virus bonded with human cell receptors, enabling it to travel deep into the cells within the lungs. Enzymes responsible for replicating the virus moved rapidly.
Source: Amy Lively, Independent Scholar

Based on the information in the passage, it can be argued that


A

Requiring masks sooner could have helped save lives during the 1918 flu outbreak

B

The quick reaction of the United States government made the flu outbreak less severe than it otherwise could have been

C

More rapid containment could have saved lives during the 1918 flu outbreak

D

Scientists discovered a cure that helped contain the disease by 1919

E

The way influenza is transmitted had little effect on the number of people affected by the epidemic



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