COVID-19 NOW A PANDEMIC, SAYS WHO
Context: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on March 11 said that according to its assessment, COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic.
EPIDEMIC AND PANDEMIC
A large outbreak, one that spreads among a population or region.
Generally refers to an epidemic that has spread on a more global scale, affecting large numbers of people.
TERMS ASSOCIATED WITH AN VIRUS OUTBREAK
- A virusis a biological agent that reproduces inside the cells of living hosts.
- When infected by a virus, a host cell is forced to produce thousands of identical copies of the original virus at an extraordinary rate.
- Unlike most living things, viruses do not have cells that divide; new viruses are assembled in the infected host cell.
- But unlike still simpler infectious agents, viruses contain genes, which gives them the ability to mutate and evolve.
- Over 5,000 species of viruses have been discovered
- Virusescan infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea
OUTBREAK: A sudden rise in cases of a disease in a particular place
CORONAVIRUS: Term for a family of viruses. Some cause the common cold while others cause more severe illnesses like SARS, which stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome, and MERS, which stands for Middle East respiratory syndrome.
COVID-19: Name given to the illness caused by the new coronavirus first identified in China in late 2019. CO and VI are for coronavirus, D is for disease, and 19 for 2019. The virus itself is called SARS-cov-2.
INCUBATION PERIOD: Time between infection and the appearance of signs or symptoms of an illness. The incubation period for the new virus is thought to be up to two weeks.
QUARANTINE: Restrict movement of healthy people who may have been exposed to an infection to see if they become ill. For example, the passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan were quarantined.
ISOLATION: Separate sick people from healthy people to prevent spread of disease. For example, people with the infection are put in isolation in hospitals