Bird Flu Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Bird Flu article.

Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Acute respiratory distress syndrome: Respiratory failure of sudden onset due to fluid in t...

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Antigen: A substance that the immune system perceives as being foreign or dangerous. The b...

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Antigenic drift: A mechanism for variation by viruses that involves the accumulation of mu...

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Antigenic shift: A sudden shift in the antigenicity of a virus resulting from the recombin...

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Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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Antiviral: An agent that kills a virus or that suppresses its ability to replicate and, he...

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ARDS: Acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Aspirate: To suck in. A patient may aspirate for example by accidentally drawing material ...

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Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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Avian flu: See: Avian influenza.

Avian influenza: A highly contagious viral disease with up to 100 percent mortality in dom...

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B virus: An infectious agent commonly found among macaque monkeys, including rhesus macaqu...

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Bird flu: See: Avian influenza.

Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Bronchoscopy: A procedure that permits the doctor to see the breathing passages through a...

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CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US agency charged with tracking a...

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The US agency charged with tracking and invest...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Epidemic: The occurrence of more cases of a disease than would be expected in a community...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Feces: The excrement discharged from the 'intestines.

Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Flu: Short for influenza. The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract w...

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Flu shot: The flu (influenza) vaccine is recommended annually (each year) for persons at ...

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Flu vaccine: The flu vaccination (influenza) is recommended for persons at high risk for...

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Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Genetics: The scientific study of heredity. Genetics pertains to humans and all other orga...

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Genome: All the genetic information possessed by any organism (for example, the human geno...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Immunity: The condition of being immune. Immunity can be innate'for example, humans are in...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Influenza: The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract which are divide...

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Internal medicine: The medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and medical treatment ...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Lethal: Deadly.

Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Liver disease: Liver disease refers to any disorder of the liver. The liver is a large org...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Mortality: A fatal outcome or, in one word, death. The word "mortality" is derived from "m...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Mutation: A permanent change, a structural alteration, in the DNA or RNA. In humans and m...

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Pandemic: An epidemic (a sudden outbreak) that becomes very widespread and affects a whol...

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Pathogenic: Capable of causing disease. For example, pathogenic E. coli are Eschericia col...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Physiology: The study of how living organisms function, including such processes as nutrit...

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Pneumonia: Inflammation of one or both lungs, with dense areas of lung inflammation. Pneum...

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Potassium: The major positive ion (cation) found inside cells. The chemical notation for p...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulmonary medicine: The branch of medicine that deals with the causes, diagnosis, preventi...

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Recombinant: A person with a new combination of genes, a combination not present in either...

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Recombination: The trading of fragments of genetic material between chromosomes before the...

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Rehydration: The process of restoring lost water (dehydration) to the body tissues and flu...

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Resistance: Opposition to something, or the ability to withstand something. For example, s...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Respiratory failure: Inability of the lungs to perform their basic task of gas exchange, t...

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RNA: Ribonucleic acid.

Saline: Relating to salt. As an adjective, "saline" means "salty, containing salt." As a n...

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Saliva: a watery secretion in the mouth produced by the salivary glands that aids in the d...

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Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Sinus: 1. An air-filled cavity in a dense portion of a skull bone. The sinuses decr...

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Sneeze: 1. As a verb, to suddenly expel air through the nose and mouth by an involu...

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Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in the fluid surrounding cells in the body. The ch...

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Sore: 1. (adjective) A popular term for painful, such as a sore throat. 2. (...

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Sore throat: Pain in the throat. Sore throat may be caused by many different causes, inclu...

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Spanish flu: A pandemic of influenza A (H1N1) in 1918-19 that caused the highest number of...

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Strain: 1. An injury to a tendon or muscle resulting from overuse or trauma. 2. A heredita...

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Swine flu: A respiratory illness of pigs caused by infection with swine influenza A virus ...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Vaccines: Microbial preparations of killed or modified microorganisms that can stimulate a...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Viral infection: Infection caused by the presence of a virus in the body. Depending on...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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World Health Organization: The subagency of the United Nations (UN) that is concerned with...

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Medical Dictionary