Coronavirus Dictionary

Everything is new and continually changing with the coronavirus. Here’s our growing collection of terms and definitions surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. Hopefully this will help give a little understanding during a time that lacks so much clarity.

ANTIVIRAL
(ANTI-VAI-RUL)
A medication used to treat viral infections
ANXIETY
(ANG-ZAI-EH-TEE)
Feelings of worry, uneasiness, unrest, or nervousness
CORONAVIRUS
(KR-OWE-NAH-VAI-RUS)
A class of virus that typically only causes mild symptoms or issues, although it has several strains that have caused severe outbreaks (COVID-19, MERS (2012), SARS(2003))
COV
Generic abbreviation for a coronavirus; COVID-19 is the specific name for the recently identified coronavirus outbreak
COVID-19
(CO-VID-19)
A deadly strain of a coronavirus that has caused an outbreak in 2019-2020; Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-Cov-2)
DEPRESSION
(DE-PRESS-SHUN)
Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
DROPLET
(DROP-LET)
A small particle of water, mucus, or saliva
FLATTING THE CURVE
Reducing the number of cases of a disease at a given time to lower the strain on the health system
HERD IMMUNITY
(HERD EM-MUNE-EH-TEE)
When a large enough portion of a population is resistant to a disease that it creates protection for the rest of the population
IMMUNE SYSTEM
(EM-MUNE SIS-TEM)
A network of proteins and cells that work together to stop invaders from taking over the body and causing many problems
IMMUNITY
(EM-MUNE-EH-TEE)
Resistance to a disease after the immune system has successfully fought off the specific infection
ISOLATION
(EYE-SOW-LAY-SHUN)
Imposed separation from other people to eliminate the transmission of an infection via touch or air transfer
MIDDLE EAST RESPIRATORY SYNDROME CORONAVIRUS (MERS-COV)
A deadly form of a coronavirus that caused an outbreak in the middle east in 2012, characterized by sudden respiratory symptoms
PANDEMIC
(PAN-DEM-IC)
When a new disease spreads around the world because there is no resistance to it
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
Equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses
SELF-INOCULATION
(SELF EH-NAH-CUE-LAY-SHUN)
Transferring a disease from one part of the body to any other
SELF-QUARANTINE
A person's choice to avoid any direct or indirect contact with others to try to prevent the spread of a disease
SEVERE ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME CORONAVIRUS (SARS-COV)
A deadly form of a coronavirus that caused an outbreak in 2003, characterized by sudden respiratory symptoms
SEVERE ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME CORONAVIRUS 2 (SARS-COV-2)
A deadly form of a coronavirus that has caused an outbreak in 2019-2020; the second outbreak of a coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome; COVID-19
SOCIAL DISTANCE
(SOW-SHL DIST-ANCE)
The specific amount of space needed to prevent the spread of a specific disease between two individuals
SOCIAL DISTANCING
(SOW-SHL DIST-ANCE-ING)
Intentionally increasing the space between people and decreasing the number of people in a similar area to prevent the spread of a disease
VACCINE
(VAX-ZEEN)
A treatment used to teach your immune system how to recognize certain foreign invaders and prevent disease
VIRUS
(VAI-RUS)
A foreign invader in the body that causes cells to function differently and can be spread to others through direct and indirect paths