All Of The Important Coronavirus Terms, Explained

All Of The Essential Coronavirus Phrases, Defined

These previous few weeks, as we’ve all adjusted to life throughout a pandemic, a brand new set of phrases has entered our collective vocabulary. All of the sudden extra persons are saying issues like “Follow social distancing,” “We have to flatten the curve” and “Immunocompromised persons are at a better danger.” These phrases come up in conversations with family and friends, on social media and in nearly each information article.

All these new phrases might be exhausting to maintain up with, so to simplify your life, we’ve compiled a glossary of the necessities. Think about this your coronavirus dictionary:

Group unfold

“Group unfold” refers to confirmed circumstances of the virus which have an unknown origin. They can’t be traced again to worldwide journey or to a identified contact with somebody who’s sick.


“Comorbidity” is when an individual has multiple illness or situation. For instance, if a affected person who has hypertension and is a diabetic will get sick with COVID-19, then they’re stated to have comorbidities. That is vital as a result of sufferers who produce other comorbidities are at a increased danger for issues because of COVID-19.


Though the phrases “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” are sometimes used interchangeably, coronaviruses are literally a household of viruses, a few of which trigger ailments in people and a few of which don’t. The virus we’re so frightened about proper now known as SARS-CoV-2, which isn’t to be confused with the SARS illness everybody was so frightened about in 2003. As an alternative, SARS-CoV-2 causes the illness COVID-19. (Confused? You aren’t alone. Don’t fear an excessive amount of in regards to the semantics, as most individuals will perceive what you might be speaking about when you say both “the coronavirus” or “COVID-19.”)


COVID-19 is the illness brought on by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. That is just like how AIDS is the illness brought on by the virus referred to as HIV. The time period “COVID-19” refers back to the set of signs brought on by this particular type of coronavirus.


A illness occasion is likely to be labeled as an outbreak, an epidemic or a pandemic relying on how widespread it’s. An outbreak is a pointy improve within the variety of people who find themselves sick with one illness. An epidemic is a pointy improve within the variety of people who find themselves sick, with this improve unfold out over a large area. A pandemic is a worldwide illness outbreak. On March 11, the World Well being Group formally declared that we’re in a pandemic.

Important jobs

Important jobs are, in a nutshell, the entire jobs required to maintain our society working. These are the workers who’re required to report back to work, even when everybody else has been ordered to remain dwelling. What’s thought of a necessary job could fluctuate, relying on native issues and the character of the emergency, however they typically embrace hospital workers and legislation enforcement, in addition to individuals who work at gasoline stations, grocery shops and pharmacies.


Flatten the curve

By now, there’s an excellent likelihood you’ve heard at the very least one individual speak about “flattening the curve.” Possibly you’ve seen some model of a chart with curving strains depicting completely different public well being outcomes, like what would occur with no proactive well being measures and what might occur with completely different ordinances of various strictness in place. “Flattening the curve” basically means slowing the unfold of the illness, as a result of if everybody will get sick unexpectedly, it should overwhelm the hospital system.

Incubation interval

The incubation interval is the period of time between contracting a virus and exhibiting signs. For the coronavirus, that is between two and 14 days, with the common period of time about 5 days. People who find themselves contaminated can unfold the illness earlier than they present signs, which makes containment measures akin to quarantine and social distancing particularly essential.


You already know that one who is all the time the primary to catch no matter bug goes round? Somebody who’s immunocompromised is like that, solely worse. Their immune system has been weakened to the purpose that their physique could not be capable of battle off regular diseases, not to mention a severe one like COVID-19. Situations that may trigger an individual to be immunocompromised embrace coronary heart illness, lung illness, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Chemotherapy and steroids can even weaken an individual’s immune system.


Isolation separates people who find themselves sick with COVID-19 from different folks, as a way to cease the unfold of the illness.


A lockdown is when all nonessential actions get shut down, with nonessential workers being ordered to earn a living from home. The precise circumstances of a lockdown will fluctuate, however for a lot of states, it means colleges, bars, film theaters and eating places are closed, although meals supply should be allowed. Individuals can nonetheless go away their properties to go to important locations, together with gasoline stations, grocery shops and pharmacies. Some states are instituting curfews.

Delicate signs

On the subject of COVID-19, the time period ”delicate signs is usually a bit deceptive. A light case of COVID-19 would possibly merely really feel like a chilly, or it might embrace signs as severe as fever, cough and pneumonia ― however to not the purpose the place you’ll want to be hospitalized. Roughly 80% of circumstances are delicate, whereas the remainder are labeled as “extreme” or “vital.” A case is taken into account extreme whenever you want oxygen or a ventilator to breathe. Essential circumstances contain respiratory failure or multi-organ failure.

Mitigation methods

Mitigation methods are preparations {that a} neighborhood can take to sluggish the unfold of illness and defend high-risk people and important infrastructure, akin to hospitals. Measures embrace closing colleges, limiting public gatherings and offering folks with the mandatory help to take preventive measures.



An outbreak is when there’s a sharp improve within the variety of folks sick with one illness, however these circumstances stay in a single space. If an outbreak spreads to a wider space, it turns into an epidemic, and if it spreads worldwide, it turns into a pandemic.

Nonessential surgical procedure

Additionally referred to as an “elective surgical procedure,” this can be a surgical process that doesn’t must be accomplished instantly. The American School of Surgeons lately launched their suggestions for elective surgical procedure, noting that though some surgical procedures can postponed indefinitely, many are for progressive ailments that can worsen over time. If you’re scheduled to have an elective surgical procedure, it’s essential to speak along with your physician and assess the relative dangers of delaying the process.


A pandemic is when there’s a sharp improve within the variety of people who find themselves sick with a illness, which has unfold all over the world. On March 11, the World Well being Group formally declared that we’re experiencing a pandemic.


Quarantines are used for individuals who aren’t sick with COVID-19 however have been uncovered to somebody who’s. Quarantines work by conserving individuals who would possibly get sick separated from others, to forestall them from unknowingly spreading the illness.


A respirator filters the air you breathe, eradicating particles and contaminants like micro organism, viruses, mould and smoke. Typically talking, respirators are both disposable or have filters that may be swapped out. For well being care employees, respirators supply important safety in opposition to getting sick. It’s essential {that a} well being care employee’s respirator matches accurately, will get used correctly and is the proper high quality.


“SARS-CoV-2” is the official title of the virus that causes the illness COVID-19. Not lots of people use the official title, as a substitute saying “COVID-19” or “the coronavirus.” Even the World Well being Group has backed away from the time period “SARS-CoV-2,” saying as a substitute “the virus that causes COVID-19” as a way to keep away from confusion with the illness SARS, which prompted an outbreak in 2003.

Social distancing

“Social distancing” means conserving a distance of at the very least six toes from different folks, and avoiding gatherings and pointless journey, as a way to restrict the unfold of illness.

Keep in place

“Keep in place,” additionally referred to as “shelter in place,” refers to circumstances the place nobody is allowed to depart their dwelling, besides to run errands akin to going to the grocery retailer or pharmacy. In most locations, going for a stroll can also be acceptable, so long as folks keep six toes away from one another. Important employees are additionally allowed to depart for work.


A ventilator is a machine that strikes breathable air into and out of the lungs, for sufferers who’re bodily unable to breathe, or can’t breathe sufficiently on their very own. Essentially the most vital COVID-19 sufferers want ventilators, and there are worries that we gained’t have sufficient for everybody who will want one.

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