Coronavirus Glossary: Understanding the terms related to the deadly virus

Updated on Mar 16, 2020 10:59 PM IST  |  775.5K
Coronavirus Glossary: Understanding the terms related to the deadly virus

You open a news channel or read a blog, and the first thing that pops up is Coronavirus. Well, that's because it is one of the scariest and deadliest diseases of this century. But have you fully grasped the meaning of Coronavirus? Do you know what COVID-19 stands for? or what is social distancing? You might have seen these terms passing you by in the posts that you see every day but never really bothered to understand them completely. Moreover, you may hear one thing from one source and a complete opposite from the other.

Knowing these terms will make it easier for you to understand coronavirus better. 

1. COVID-19

COVID-19 is being used synonymously with Coronavirus; however, it is really a disease caused by one particular type of coronavirus. The technical term of the virus is SARS-CoV-2 that led to the onset of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in 2019. This respiratory disease was first discovered in China. While the research for finding the antibiotic of the disease goes on, the risk can be alleviated by taking appropriate precautions.

2. Pandemic

Coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) recently after its spread across more than 100 countries. A pandemic is widespread of a disease affecting large numbers of people. The disease was not declared a pandemic until last week by WHO due to the increasing number of cases worldwide. WHO Director-General addressed the issue in a conference, "Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly." 

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3. Quarantine/Isolation 

This is a precautionary measure taken to keep the virus from spreading. While isolation means to separate sick people from healthy people, quarantine refers to the confinement of people who were exposed to the virus and might become sick. People in quarantine can't have any visitors. 

4.  Fatality/ Morbidity Rate 

Fatality or morbidity rate is the number of deaths in ratio to the number of confirmed cases. Scientists believe that the virus may lead to an increased morbidity rate in the near future. 

5. Incubation 

The incubation period is the time when an infected person starts to show symptoms of the disease. This is the time for prevention and control, for which doctors recommend isolation and observation to avoid contact with other healthy people. According to the CDC, Coronavirus has an incubation period of 2-14 days, symptoms of which may show five days after getting infected. 

6. Social Distancing 

COVID-19 is a communicable disease that spreads from person-to-person. Social distancing is a way to prevent the spread of this contagious disease. It doesn’t mean that you need to stop talking or meeting anyone. It refers to the physical distance between you and a person who is sneezing or coughing, especially in crowded areas.

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