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Old Books

Jargon Buster
Some definitions to start you off if you want to delve further into research...

A

Acute illness – The initial period of rapid-onset illness symptoms, usually lasting days to weeks.

Antibody – A type of protein produced by certain immune cells to bind to an antigen and help eliminate an unwanted substance from the body. Each type of antibody has a different, very specific shape to fit each antigen.

Antigen - Any foreign substance which causes the body to form an immune response. Common antigens include proteins on bacteria and viruses.

B

C

Chronic illness – Symptoms of illness which persist for a long time or repeatedly return. This may last many years, even for the whole lifetime. Often this limits a person’s ability to do normal everyday activities.

D

Dysautonomia – Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for maintenance of processes that are outside of conscious control such as heart rate, blood pressure and digestion.

E

Embolism – The blocking of a blood vessel (artery or vein) by an embolus- this is usually a blood clot but can also be fat or an air bubble.

Endemic – An endemic disease is one which is constantly present in a population, with static overall case rates. This means that the number of people catching the disease over time remains constant.

Endothelium – The tissue which lines the inside of blood vessels (arteries and veins). The endothelium is made by a layer of endothelial cells.

Epidemic – An increase in the number of cases of a disease above what would normally be expected in that population.

F

G

H

I

Incidence – The rate of occurrence of a disease. For example, number of new cases per day.

Ischaemia – An inadequate blood supply to a body part. This means that the body part does not receive enough oxygen or essential nutrients to function.

J

K

L

Leukopenia – A condition where the body has too few neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that forms part of the first line of defence in the immune system.

Lymphocyte – A subtype of white blood cell that forms part of the immune system. There are T and B lymphocytes, both are involved in the later stages of an immune response that can result in immune memory.

Lymphocytopenia – A condition where the body has too few lymphocytes, a types of white blood cell that are part of the later stages of immune response.

M

Myocardium – The muscle of the heart. This is made of up cells called cardiac myocytes.

Myocarditis – Inflammation of the heart muscle.

N

Neurons - Cells which form the bulk of the nervous system; neurons make up nerves and are found inside the brain.

Non-pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) – Ways to mitigate disease risk that don’t include medication and vaccination. Examples include masks, air filtration, ventilation, and hand hygiene.

O

P

Pandemic – An epidemic of a disease that has spread across a large area, usually across multiple countries.

Prevalence – The number of people in a population who have a disease at a particular time.

Pericardium – The sac which surrounds the heart.

Pericarditis – Inflammation of the sac which surrounds the heart.

Q

R

S

Statistical significance – A result is statistically significant when the tests used show that it is unlikely just to be due to random chance. For example, a significance level of P<0.05 means that there is a less than 5% chance that the result calculated is due to random chance – there is a 95% chance something else significant is happening.

T

Thrombophilia – A condition where the blood is more likely to form blood clots.

Thrombosis – When a blood clot forms inside a blood vessel (artery or vein) which may restrict blood flow.

Thrombus – A blood clot; specifically one which remains where it originally formed.

U

V

Vasculitis – Inflammation of blood vessels (arteries or veins).

Viral load – The amount of virus a person has inside their body.

W

X

Y

Z

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