Coronavirus Related Terminologies and Meaning

Here is a a list of the most commonly used terms and phrases and their meaning :

Coronavirus: A family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, including SARS and MERS.

SARS-CoV-2: The name given to the “novel” coronavirus that was first detected late last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

COVID-19: An acronym created by the World Health Organization (WHO) that stands for the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). It stands for " co rona vi rus d isease of 20 19 ".

Close contact: Also referred to as “direct contact”, this is when one person is physically close enough to an infected individual to come into direct contact with their bodily fluids, including respiratory droplets through which COVID-19 is believed to be spread. In order to avoid being in direct contact with someone who may be infected, it is important to practice “social distncing”, see below.

Social distancing: Any number of measures taken to increase the physical space between people to slow the spread of the virus. They include staying home more often, catching up with loved ones online instead of in person, strictly limiting the number of visitors to your home, and staying away from other people when you are in a public space. The WHO recommends being more than one metre (three feet) away from the nearest person, while some health experts have suggested maintaining a distance of at least two metres from others.

Incubation: The incubation period is the time it takes for symptoms to appear after a person is infected. According to the WHO, most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.

Pandemic: An epidemic that has spread over several countries/continents, usually affecting a large number of people.

PPE: Personal Protective Equipment, it includes, but is not limited to, medically approved gowns, aprons or coveralls, gloves, respirators, face shields and masks.

Quarantine: Separating and restricting the movement of people exposed (or potentially exposed) to a contagious disease.

R-naught or R0: An epidemiologic metric used to describe how contagious an infection is. In the case of COVID-19, research is still in its early stages, but indications suggest its R0 is between 2 and 2.5, which means an infected person will pass the infection on to a minimum of two other people.

Self-isolation: Isolation, as opposed to quarantine, is what someone who is confirmed to be ill or assumed to have been exposed to a communicable disease has to do to separate themselves from healthy people around them.

Self-quarantine: Staying home and away from other people as much as possible after exposure or potential exposure to an infection.

Underlying condition: A long-term health issue, including asthma, diabetes, HIV, chronic lung disease, cancer and more.

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