COVID-19 Glossary

Browse the glossary using this index

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Theophylline agents

These agents open airways, prevent and relieve airway spasms, and prevent night-time cough and shortness of breath.


A small, hand-held device that helps to keep the airways open and prevent the lungs from collapsing.


The muscular and bony structure of the chest.

tidal volume

The quantity of air inhaled and exhaled in one respiratory cycle during regular breathing.

total lung capacity test

A test that measures the amount of air in the lungs after a person has breathed in as much as possible.


The main airway (windpipe) supplying air to both lungs.


A surgical opening made when necessary in the main airway, the trachea.


The spread of disease. A disease can be transmitted from person to person, from person to animal to person or by the environment (think: giardia in water.) Coronaviruses are transmitted in respiratory droplets, which are drops of water and mucus that come out of our lungs when we cough and sneeze. They can also contaminate door handles and surfaces.