(CBS DETROIT) - Everyone wants to know the latest about COVID-19 during this pandemic which includes learning key words to keep you informed.
Henry Ford Health System turned to one of their experts - Daniel Passerman, D.O., a family medicine physician - to define COVID-19 key terms.
- Asymptomatic: Someone who has an infection without ever showing symptoms.
- Presymptomatic: Someone who has been infected with a virus but isn't yet showing symptoms.
- Coronavirus: A group of viruses common in humans and animals. Some coronaviruses produce the common cold; SARS and MERS are also both coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus.
- Community spread: When a contagious illness spreads throughout a community of people who haven't traveled to a place where the virus began, or who haven't knowingly been in contact with anyone who has had the virus.
- Incubation period: The time it takes between catching a virus and feeling sick from it.
- Ventilator: A machine that pushes air into a person's lungs to help them breathe.
- Novel strain: A new type of virus.
- Pathogen: Any microorganism (including bacteria and viruses) that causes infection.
- Patient zero: The first person to contract a virus in a new area.
- PPE: An acronym for personal protective equipment. It describes the special masks, clothing and gloves worn by care providers to shield them from contagious illnesses.
- Social distancing: The act of increasing physical space between people to decrease the spread of an illness. (In the case of COVID-19, social distancing of at least six feet is recommended.)
- Self-isolation: Separating oneself from others because you are sick.
- Self-quarantine: Separating oneself from others because you have been exposed to a sick person.
- Shelter-in-place: Used as a safety measure after an emergency, this is an order from the government for citizens to stay at home, leaving only to get necessities like food and medicine.
- Super spreader: A person who transmits a virus to many more people than average.
- Underlying conditions: Chronic health conditions not caused by a current virus. (For example, diabetes, heart and kidney diseases, and obesity are all underlying conditions.)
- Flatten the curve: Slowing the rate of infection among people so hospitals can treat fewer people over time.
- Antibody: Specific proteins in the blood used by the immune system to attack viruses and diseases in order to heal the body.
- Outbreak: When many people in a localized area suddenly become ill.
- Epidemic: Widespread illness in one region or community.
- Pandemic: Widespread illness around the world.
- Surgical mask: A disposable face mask worn by health professionals to prevent saliva or mucus from coming out or going in.
- N95 respirator: A special protective mask that filters out tiny particles and pathogens to protect the wearer from contracting a disease.
- Herd immunity: When a contagious virus or disease becomes largely inactive because a population of people have become immune, usually thanks to a vaccine. Hopefully, this is what will happen with COVID-19 after a vaccine is approved and ready for widespread use.
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