As we learn more about the virus each day, health officials are introducing new terms to the public that you may not have heard before. Rochester Regional Health has created a list of the most important coronavirus-related terms.
A mask-like device that’s worn over the mouth and nose that prevents the inhalation of harmful substances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends healthcare professionals wear a specific type of respirator, called an N95 respirator. N95 respirators fit tighter around the nose and mouth.
A machine that helps a patient breathe. A ventilator pumps oxygen into the lungs while removing carbon dioxide through a tube. Since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, ventilators are essential pieces of equipment for patients with serious symptoms like shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing, gloves, gowns, masks, or other garments or equipment that protect healthcare workers from infection. PPE is essential in the fight against COVID-19.
A shelter in place is an order for all people of an area or region to stay indoors except to conduct essential activities. A shelter in place has been ordered in counties across several states including Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, and Missouri. New York State residents have been ordered to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Contact tracing is the process of learning everything we can about where an infected person has been and who they have been in contact with. When a positive case is confirmed, officials perform contact tracing to track down other people who may have come in contact with the patient and advise them to quarantine, self-isolate, or get tested if showing symptoms.
The key strategy in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The CDC asks that you maintain a distance of six feet from other people when possible.
When a disease like the new coronavirus spreads in a community or area but health officials don’t know how the disease is spreading. It’s a strong indicator that a virus is no longer contained.
Flattening the curve refers to slowing the rate of the spread and reducing the burden of the coronavirus on the healthcare system. The top of the curve represents the peak number of cases that are growing at a faster rate than hospitals and healthcare centers can manage. If social distancing is successful, we will flatten the curve and keep up with the number of patients who need care.
R-naught is a metric used to determine the average number of people who can become infected by one person. The R-naught of COVID-19 is between 1.5 and 3.5 according to the Imperial College of London. This means that for every one person infected, there will be as many as 3.5 more positive cases.
Drive-thru testing allows individuals to be tested for COVID-19 by driving up to a test center, remain in their car, and take a test. Drive-thru testing can increase the speed of testing while decreasing the risk of spread. Patients must be referred by a healthcare provider. Rochester Regional Health provides drive-thru testing.
When a person shows no symptoms they are asymptomatic. This is dangerous for the spread of the coronavirus since some people who are infected may not show symptoms (asymptomatic) but can be carriers and spread the disease to others. This is one of the reasons the CDC recommends social distancing and staying home as much as possible.
A comorbidity is the presence of one or more diseases or conditions in a person at the same time. Long-term or chronic health conditions are considered comorbidities. Other terms that are used interchangeably are coexisting conditions and multiple chronic conditions. Patients with comorbidities are at a greater risk of serious illness if infected with COVID-19.
The branch of medicine that deals with the prevalence of disease in large populations, as well as the source, causes, and prevention of spread.
A pandemic is a type of epidemic that describes a disease that impacts an entire country or the whole world. A pandemic is an epidemic on a national or global level. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic because of the fast rate at which the virus is spreading.
An object that can assist in the transmission of an infectious agent. Examples include bedding, towels, surgical instruments, and door handles. The CDC says there is evidence that the new coronavirus can spread via fomites.
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