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The novel coronavirus has gripped the entire world, and nations across the globe have launched a fight against it. With the pandemic spreading like fire, many new terms are doing the rounds too.

Here’s a list of all the coronavirus terms you need to know:


Rather than being a single virus, the coronavirus is a large family of viruses. These viruses cause minor to major respiratory illnesses in humans as well as animals. It is significant to note that the term ‘corona’ originated from a Latin word meaning crown or ring of light as the virus looks like that under a microscope.


The disease caused by the newfound coronavirus has been named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. It is an acronym for “coronavirus disease 2019” as the virus was first detected in 2019. 


Novel basically means “new”. The novel coronavirus simply refers to a strain of coronavirus that has been newly found.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS is just another member of the coronavirus family. SARS epidemic claimed over 770 lives in the years 2002 and 2003.


When the number of people affected by a disease in a particular area increases on a faster than expected pace, it is termed as an Epidemic.


A Pandemic is simply an Epidemic that has spread across the globe and has affected a significant number of people.

Public Health Emergency

A Public Health Emergency is declared by a government body in a country. This declaration is often made when a public health crisis hits a country.


An outbreak is a faster-than-expected spread of a disease in a region (epidemic) or around the globe (pandemic).

Community Spread

A community spread is the spread of a disease in a certain region whose origin is difficult to trace.

Social Distancing

The World Health Organization has suggested “Social Distancing” as a measure to curb the spread of coronavirus. It doesn’t imply that one should stay home, rather it means one should maintain a 3-feet distance from a person who has flu-like symptoms.


N95 respirators are different than regular masks. They have an air filter embedded in them and provide a tighter fitting. Although, regular use of such masks is not recommended. The N95 masks should be used only under specific circumstances.


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