Glossary of Key Terms
Influenza – Influenza (or the flu) is an illness caused by a virus that infects the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. The virus can spread when a sick person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread by touching surfaces that have the virus. Severe illness can lead to hospitalization and even death in some cases.
Outbreak – A sudden increase in the number of disease cases in a particular season and place.
Virus – A very small organism that usually makes you sick. Viruses need living cells of another being in order to multiply
Hospitalization – Being so sick that you have to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – A national agency in the United States that protects human health and improves the quality of life.
Efficacy – A measure of how well flu vaccines work. For example, 40% vaccine efficacy means that people who received the vaccine are 40% less likely to be sick and need to see a doctor. The flu vaccine efficacy is calculated in the end of the flu season.
Health burden – A measure of how many people get infected, hospitalized and die from a disease.
Age group – All people who are of certain age. For example, “school age children” are all children between 5 and 19 years old.
Computer model – A computer program which attempts to simulate a real world system and to test how the system would behave in different conditions.
Vaccination coverage – Vaccination coverage is the percentage of people in a population that get vaccinated.