Immunization Schedule, Adults Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Immunization Schedule, Adults article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Aging: The process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environ...

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Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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Airway obstruction: Partial or complete blockage of the breathing passages to the lungs. C...

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Alcoholism: Physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use would b...

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Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic indiv...

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Anthrax: A serious bacterial infection caused by Bacillus anthracis that occurs primarily ...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. ...

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

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

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Bile: Bile is a yellow-green fluid that is made by the liver, stored in the gallbladder a...

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Booster shot: An additional dose of a vaccine needed periodically to 'boost' the immune sy...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breastfeeding: Feeding a child human breast milk. According to the American Academy of Ped...

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

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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

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Cervical: Having to do with any kind of neck, including the neck on which the head is perc...

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Cervical cancer: Cancer of the entrance to the womb (uterus). The cervix is the lower, na...

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Cervix: The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). The uterus, a hollow, ...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Chickenpox: A highly infectious viral disease also known medically as varicella -- in many...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic illness: An illness that lasts 3 months or more.

Chronic kidney failure: See: Chronic renal failure.

Cirrhosis: Liver disease characterized by irreversible scarring. Alcohol and viral hepatit...

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Coma: A state of deep, unarousable unconsciousness. A coma may occur as a result of head t...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Congenital: A condition that is present at birth, whether or not it is inherited.

Congestion: An abnormal or excessive accumulation of a body fluid. The term is used broadl...

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Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Contraindication: A condition which makes a particular treatment or procedure potentially ...

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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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Deafness: Partial or complete hearing loss. Levels of hearing impairment vary from a mild ...

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Department of Health and Human Services: The United States government's principal agency f...

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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Diphtheria: An acute infectious upper respiratory tract disease that affects the throat. I...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Ear: The hearing organ. There are three sections of the ear, according to the anatomy tex...

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Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain, which may be caused by a bacterium, a virus, or a...

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

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after concep...

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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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Genital: Pertaining to the external and/or internal organs of reproduction.

Glaucoma: A common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eyes rises becaus...

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Haemophilus influenzae type B: Abbreviated as HIB, a bacterium capable of causing a range ...

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HBV: Hepatitis B virus. A virus which primarily causes inflammation of the liver. The hepa...

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HCV: Hepatitis C virus.

HDV: Hepatitis D virus.

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Health and Human Services: The United States government's principal agency for "protecting...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Hemodialysis: A medical procedure that uses a special machine (a dialysis machine) to fil...

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Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Hepatitis A: Inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is usua...

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Hepatitis B: Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), once thought t...

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Hepatitis C: Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usuall...

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Hepatitis C virus: A single-stranded RNA virus in the Flaviviridae family that causes hepa...

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Hepatitis D: Liver inflammation due to the hepatitis D virus (HDV), which causes disease o...

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Hepatitis E: A rare form of liver inflammation caused by infection with the hepatitis E vi...

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Hepatitis E virus: The agent responsible for hepatitis E. Abbreviated HEV. For more inform...

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Hepatitis G: A virus isolated from the blood of some patients with posttransfusion hepatit...

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Herpes: A family of viruses. Herpes also refers to infection with one of the human herpesv...

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Herpes zoster: Also called shingles, zona, and zoster. The culprit is the varicella-zoster...

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Herpesvirus: One of a family of viruses that contain DNA and that cause infections in huma...

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HIB: Haemophilus influenzae type B.

HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

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Homosexual: A person sexually attracted to persons of the same sex. Homosexuals include m...

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HPV: Human papillomavirus.

Human papillomavirus: HPV. A family of over 100 viruses including those which cause warts ...

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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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Immunization: Vaccination. Immunizations work by stimulating the immune system, the natur...

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Incubation period: In medicine, the time from the moment of exposure to an infectious agen...

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

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Infectious hepatitis: See Hepatitis A.

Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally h...

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Jaw: The movable junction of the bones below the mouth (the mandible) and the bone just ab...

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Joint: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to m...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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

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Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells. Strictly speaking, leukemia should refer only to canc...

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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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Lockjaw: See Tetanus.

Lyme disease: An inflammatory disease that is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi...

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Lymph: The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system, carrying cell...

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Measles: An acute and highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, runny nose,...

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Median: The middle, as in the median strip in a highway. For example, the median nerve is ...

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Meningitis: Inflammation of the meninges, the three membranes that envelop the brain and t...

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Meningococcal vaccine: A vaccine to prevent meningococcal infection, including meningococc...

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Miscarriage: Inadvertent loss of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable. A considerable pr...

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MMR: Measles, mumps, rubella vaccine, a combination vaccine.

Mumps: An acute (sudden, shortlived) viral illness that usually presents with inflammation...

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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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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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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintena...

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Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pediatrics: The field of medicine that is concerned with the health of infants, children, ...

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Pertussis: Whooping cough, a communicable, potentially deadly illness characterized by fi...

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

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

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Polio: Abbreviation for poliomyelitis, an acute and sometimes devastating disease caused ...

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Precancerous: Pertaining to something that is not yet overtly cancerous, but appears to be...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Prophylaxis: The prevention of disease.

Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Puncture wound: An injury that is caused by a pointed object that pierces or penetrates th...

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Qualitative: Having to do with quality. In contrast to quantitative (which pertains to qua...

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Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical c...

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Recipient: In medicine, someone who is given something, such as a blood transfusion or an ...

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Red blood cells: The blood cells that carry oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is...

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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.

Reye syndrome: A sudden, sometimes fatal, disease of the brain (encephalopathy) with degen...

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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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Seizure: Uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, which may produce a physical conv...

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Semen: The fluid that is released through the penis during orgasm. Semen is made up of flu...

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

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Serum hepatitis: Hepatitis B.

Sexually transmitted disease: Any disease transmitted by sexual contact; caused by microo...

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Sexually transmitted infection: An infection that can be transferred from one person to an...

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Shingles: An acute infection caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same virus as causes ...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Sickle cell disease: A genetic blood disorder caused by the presence of an abnormal form ...

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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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Spleen: An organ that is located in the upper-left part of the abdomen, not far from the s...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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STD: Sexually transmitted disease.

Stool: The solid matter that is discharged in a bowel movement.

Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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

Testicles: The testicles (also called testes or gonads) are the male sex glands. They are ...

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Tetanus: An often fatal infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tet...

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

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Tiredness: See: Tired.

Toxin: A poison produced by certain animals, plants, or bacteria.

Trimester: In obstetrics, one of the three divisions of three months each during pregnancy...

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Tuberculosis: A highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium called Mycobacterium ...

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Vaccination: Injection of a killed microbe in order to stimulate the immune system against...

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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 hepatitis: Liver inflammation caused by a virus. Specific hepatitis viruses have bee...

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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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Whooping cough: Also known as pertussis, this is a feared infectious disease that can stri...

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Medical Dictionary