What community spread means among other common coronavirus-related terms

Coronavirus

As we struggle to cope with COVID-19, we also struggle to cope with a lot of terms associated with the virus that are tossed out there every day by medical officials, and others.

To help with that, CBS 17 is trying to de-mystify some of the phrases being tossed around without explanation.

WHAT IS: COMMUNITY SPREAD?

This term describes infections in a large public gathering or in enclosed environments like stores.

Community spread of the virus is hard to contain because some people don’t know they are infected as they spread it.

That’s why social distancing and masks are used to help control community spread.

WHAT IS: DROPLET TRANSMISSION?

When a person coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets fly out of their mouth containing any virus they are infected with.

If those virus infected droplets land in another person’s nose, mouth or eyes they get infected.

Droplet transmission also occurs during talking, yelling, or singing which is why they say to keep your distance.

WHAT IS: A FOMITE?

That’s an inanimate object or surface that acts as a vehicle for transmitting an infectious organism.

Common touchpoints like door handles, light switches, phones, and many other items are considered fomites for COVID-19 and other viruses.

WHAT IS: A SUPER SPREADER?

That’s a person who transmits his/her infection to many people—especially in close quarters during an extended period of time.

Super spreaders can be found in nursing homes, on cruise ships or church gatherings and prisons.

Typhoid Mary was a notorious super spreader.

If you’d like to know more definitions of coronavirus terms, use this link to a glossary on many of the terms being used these days in relation to the virus.

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