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Glossary

Below is a list of words which you might come across when reading this course.

Here is a glossary to refer back to throughout the course of useful terms which may come up. You can download this glossary at the end of this page.

Scientific vocabulary:

Microorganism: a very small living thing that can only be seen under the microscope.

Pathogen: an infectious microorganism, such as a virus or bacteria, which causes disease.

Immune system: our body’s network of cells which protects us from disease, by fighting pathogens in our body.

Infection: when a pathogen enters and damages human cells and starts to multiply. Our immune system will then start to fight against this infection. Not all infections will cause disease, if our immune system is able to fight and control the infection quickly.

Infectious disease: illness caused by an infection which our body isn’t able to fight as quickly. Illness appears as a set of symptoms.

Symptom: physical changes caused by an infection. This could include a sore throat, headache, high temperature, or other physical changes.

Vaccine vocabulary:

Vaccine dose: one shot, or injection, of a vaccine.

Booster dose: an additional shot or injection given after the first dose of vaccine to provide full immunity

MMR: vaccination for the diseases measles, mumps and rubella

HPV: human papillomavirus. This is the virus that causes cervical cancer.

BCG: vaccination against tuberculosis (the letters stand for Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, named after the scientists who first developed the vaccine)

Disease vocabulary:

Pneumonia: infection of the lungs resulting in difficulty breathing and which can be fatal. Pneumonia can be caused by many different pathogens.

Meningitis: infection of the brain and/or nervous system which can be fatal. Meningitis can be caused by many different pathogens.

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Prison Health: Vaccinations for People Working and Living in Prisons (Vaccine Trained Staff)

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