Coronavirus has come with its own glossary of terms. Here are some buzz words and key phrases that you’ve probably been hearing a lot about lately:
Other names for coronavirus: Covid-19 is the strand of coronavirus that emerged in late 2019; Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the name of the virus causing the current disease; novel coronavirus means ‘new’ and is a virus that had not been previously seen in humans.
Self isolation: Isolation is the practice of separating people who have a contagious disease from healthy people in order to spread the disease. Self-isolation is when an at-risk group or someone exposed to the virus imposes this measure for a period in order to ensure that others are kept safe. When someone self-isolates they need to stay at home at all times.
Quarantine: The practice of restricting the movements of healthy people/animals that may have been exposed to a contagious disease and observing them to see if they become ill.
Incubation: The period it takes from the time that someone has exposure to a virus until the time the first symptoms develop. For coronavirus, the incubation period is 14 days.
Social distancing: Keeping a physical distance between people to slow down person-to-person contamination. For this reason, gatherings have been banned in many countries around the world.
Flattening the curve: Slowing the spread of a virus in order to stretch the number of infections over a longer period of time, so that the healthcare system is not overwhelmed.
Community spread: When a disease spreads over an area where people contracting it no longer know where they caught it.
Herd immunity approach: A controversial theory based on the belief that the best way to ease long-term consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is to allow it to spread naturally in order to build up the population’s herd immunity.
Epidemic: The rapid outbreak of a disease over a short period of time.
Pandemic: The spread of a disease prevalent on a national/global level.
Lockdown: An emergency protocol where people are forced to remain indoors and businesses close their doors to help stop the spread of an infection.