Coronavirus: Glossary of a Pandemic

Coronavirus: Glossary of a Pandemic


Infected but not showing symptoms of illness or disease such as fever, cough, shortness of breath.


The use of any available tools to slow down the spread of infections. 

Digital contact tracing 

Using digital footprint, including ID and location data to trace contacts between people. 

Essential worker

People whose jobs require them to continue working and therefore exempt from a lockdown. 

Flattening of the curve

Illustrates the aim of containment to slow down the number of infections to a level health systems can handle. 

Herd immunity 

Achieved when a sufficient proportion of a population gains immunity, to consider it safe enough for the community as a whole. 

Incubation period

The time taken for symptoms to appear after a person is infected. The WHO estimates a 1-14 day range for COVID-19.


Inserting a tube in a patient's trachea for mechanical ventilation. 


Government imposed order to close down public places and enforced for people to stay in their homes.


R naught (R0)

Infection rate of a disease, the expected number of people that each carrier will infect.


Isolating yourself for a period of time in the event of showing symptoms of illness. 

Social distancing 

Measures taken to increase the physical space and decrease contact between people. 

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