Coronavirus refers to a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several are known to cause respiratory infections.
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus.
CDC is Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s health protection agency that fights disease and supports others to do the same.
WHO is World Health Organization, which directs and coordinates international health work.
Community Spread
Community spread means spread of an illness in an area for which the source of infection is unknown.
Containment strategies, such as isolation, are used to stop the rapid spread of a disease.
Mitigation strategies, such as social distancing, are used to slow the transmission of a disease in order to lessen the impact.
Social Distancing
Social distancing means remaining out of crowded public places where close contact with others may occur and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.
Flatten the Curve
Flatten the curve refers to implementing simple interventions, like social distancing, in order to slow the spread of disease so the healthcare system does not become strained.
Communicable diseases are illnesses that spread from one person to another or from an animal to a person.
Incubation Period
An incubation period is the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease.
Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is the identification and follow-up of persons who may have come into contact with a person who has an illness.
Isolation is the separation of a person who is infected with a communicable disease from those who are not infected.
Quarantine is the separation of a person who is not yet symptomatic but may have been exposed to a communicable disease.
Screenings are medical tests that doctors use to check for diseases and health conditions before there are any signs or symptoms, helping identify problems early on.
Asymptomatic means that no symptoms or signs of disease are present.
Public Health Order
Public health orders are legally enforceable directives that may place restrictions on the activities undertaken by a person or group for the purposes of protecting the public’s health.
A Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is an extraordinary event that constitutes a public health risk through the international spread of disease and potentially requires a coordinated response.
Epidemic refers to an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in a population or area.
Pandemic refers to an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.
A PUI is a person under investigation of having a disease.
Presumptive Positive
Presumptive positive cases are when a patient has at least one respiratory specimen that tested positive for a viral infection at a state or local laboratory, but officials are awaiting confirmation from the CDC.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to protective clothing, helmets, gloves, face shields, goggles, facemasks and/or respirators or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or the spread of infection or illness. The type of PPE used will vary based on the level of precautions required.
Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.
Telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, while telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services, such as provider training, administrative meetings and continuing medical education, in addition to clinical services.
Immunity is protection from an infectious disease and can be active (acquired either by contracting the disease or through vaccination; usually permanent) or passive (protection is generally limited and diminishes over time). If you are immune to a disease, you can be exposed to it without becoming infected.
Community/Herd Immunity
Community immunity is a situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness) to make its spread from person to person unlikely. Also known as herd immunity.
Immunocompromised is having a weakened immune system. Patients who are immunocompromised have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases. It is also called immunosuppressed.
Epidemiology is the basic science of public health. It uses scientific, systematic and data-driven methods to find the causes of health outcomes and diseases in populations.