Coronavirus Glossary of Terms

Last updated: August 2, 2020

Below are definitions, abbreviations, acryonyms, meanings, full forms and medical terms related to Coronarvirus COVID-19, provided by Unbound Medicine.

2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Initial name of the novel coronavirus discovered in late 2019 in Wuhan, China; later renamed SARS-CoV-2. See Coronavirus COVID-19 Overview.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

Syndrome associated with severe Coronavirus Disease. See Coronavirus Clinical Syndromes.

Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI)

Any of a number of infectious diseases involving the respiratory tract. Often classified as either upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) or lower respiratory tract infections (LRIs). See Coronavirus Clinical Syndromes.

Case Definition

Criteria used to determine whether an individual has a disease or health event of interest. See Coronavirus Case Definitions.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The leading national public health institute of the United States. It is a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services, and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. See CDC Coronavirus website.

Chloroquine phosphate (CQ)

An antimalarial drug shown to have activity against the virus that causes COVID-19 in the lab but not yet in human trials. See Coronavirus Disease Treatment or Search PubMed for Chloroquine treatment of COVID-19. See also Hydroxychloroquine.

Convalescent plasma

Blood plasma donated by persons recovered from COVID-19 (containing natural antibodies); being studied as a treatment for severely ill COVID-19 patients. See COVID-19 Treatment.

COVID-19 (Coronavrus Disease 2019)

Official name for the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV) coronavirus. Informal name: Corona. See Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for details.

Favipiravir (Avigan; T-705)

Antiviral drug developed by Toyama Chemical (Fujifilm group) of Japan with activity against many RNA viruses. Being studied in China for experimental treatment of Coronavirus Disease. See COVID-19 Treatment.

Epidemic (Epi) Curve

A statistical chart used to visualize the onset and progression of a disease outbreak. See Epidemic (Epi) Curves for Coronavirus COVID-19 for details.


Any inanimate object that when contaminated with or exposed to infectious agents can transfer disease to a new host. See COVID-2019 Infection Control.

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)

An antimalarial drug shown to have activity against the virus that causes COVID-19 but not yet in human trials. See COVID-19 Treatment or Search PubMed for Chloroquine treatment of COVID-19.

Infection Control

Basic procedures and precautions to prevent the spread of infection in healthcare. See COVID-2019 Infection Control.

Lopinavir / ritonavir (LPV/r; Kaletra)

Fixed-dose antiviral medication for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Currently being evaluated in the treatment of Coronavirus. See COVID-19 Treatment.

Median incubation period

Time from infection to appearance of symptoms, calculated by identifying the midpoint of reported incubation periods (median) in a study population.

Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered Interventions Framework (MEURI)

Protocol developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to evaluate the potential use of experimental drugs in the event of public health emergencies such as COVID-19.

Monoclonal antibodies (mAb or moAb)

Laboratory-produced molecules engineered to mimic the immune system’s attack on disease-causing cells. See COVID-19 Treatment.

Patient Under Investigation (PUI)

Definition developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for itentifying potential cases of infectious diseases. See COVID-19 Patient Under Investigation (PUI).

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Specialized clothing or equipment worn by health workers for protection against health and safety hazards. See Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for COVID-19.


30+ million journal article citations and abstracts mostly from MEDLINE that cover the life sciences and biomedical topics. Provided by the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM). See Expert PubMed Searches for COVID-19.

Remdesivir (GS-5734)

Antiviral drug developed by Gilead now in Phase 3 clinical trials for COVID-19. See COVID-19 Treatment or Search PubMed for Remdesivir treatment for COVID-19

Reproductive number (reproductive ratio; R0)

Expected number of cases directly generated by one case - in a population where all individuals are susceptible to infection.

Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)

A very sensitive technique used in laboratory testing to measure mRNA levels. Currently the gold-standard laboratory technique for detecting SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV). See Coronavirus Laboratory Diagnosis.


Official name of the virus formerly called "novel coronavirus 2019" or "2019-nCov". COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. See Coronavirus COVID-19 Overview.

Serial Interval

Amount of time between successive cases in a chain of transmission.

Sequential [Sepsis-related] Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score

Scale used to track a patient’s status while in the intensive care unit (ICU) to determine the extent of organ function or rate of failure.

World Health Organization (WHO)

Organization that directs the international health efforts within the United Nations’ system and leads with partners in global health responses. See WHO Coronavirus website.


See Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccines

Other Abbreviations

BP: blood pressure

BPM: (heart) beats per minute

CPAP: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. A ventilator setting used in the ICU.

FiO2: fraction of inspired oxygen

GCQ: general community quarantine

LSI: Locally stranded individual. A foreign national or citizen who is stranded in a locality different from their normal place of residence.

LRT: lower respiratory tract

MAP: mean arterial pressure

NIV: noninvasive ventilation

OI: Oxygenation Index

OSI: Oxygenation Index using SpO2

PaO2: partial pressure of oxygen

PEEP: positive end-expiratory pressure

ROF: Returning Overseas Filipinos

SBP: systolic blood pressure

SD: standard deviation

SIRS: systemic inflammatory response syndrome

SpO2:oxygen saturation

URT: upper respiratory tract

See Also


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Last updated: August 2, 2020