COVID-19 Glossary

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An injected medication that might stimulate the immune response to protect a person from an infection.


A device that delivers air into the lungs through a tube that is placed into the mouth or nose and down into the windpipe. 

viral shedding

The period of time after the virus has replicated in the host and is being emitted.


A measure of how much damage a germ does. Virulence can also refer to chemicals and toxins. COVID-19 is more virulent than the flu but less virulent than SARS and MERS.


A type of germ or microbe. Viruses are not considered alive because they don’t have the tools they need to replicate on their own. The flu, COVID-19, Zika and Ebola are all caused by viruses. Viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics.

vital capacity

Maximal breathing capacity; the amount of air that can be expired after a maximum inspiration