A disease cluster
or infection cluster is a group of similar health events
that have occurred in the same area around the same time. You may have heard some new cases of the current coronavirus
described as "outbreak clusters."
is spread of a disease among a certain area, in which there is no direct knowledge of how or when someone contracted the disease
. While some cases of coronavirus can be pinpointed to certain trips, associations between people or other events, instances of "community spread" are less specific and harder to trace
is actually not one type of virus; it is a large family of viruses
that also includes SARS and other minor to major respiratory illnesses. Coronaviruses can be spread between animals and people, as we have seen with this current strain. The term "corona," which is from a Latin root meaning crown or ring of light
, refers to the shape of the virus under a microscope. (See also: novel)
COVID-19 is the specific illness related to the current epidemic. The acronym, provided by the World Health Organization, stands for "coronavirus disease 2019," referring to the year the virus was first detected. The name of the virus is SARS-CoV-2.
is a situation where a disease spreads rapidly among many people, and in a higher concentration than normal. It is on a smaller scale, however, than a pandemic. The global COVID-19 outbreak is considered to be an epidemic, though there are fears among governments and medical communities that it could become a pandemic