Traditions of Medical Science. Medical Terms and Well-Known Concepts Related to the Coronavirus Epidemic

  • Authors: Tsukanova A.A.1, Makhinova O.V.1
  • Affiliations:
    1. Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko
  • Pages: 245-247
  • URL:

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Terminology is the main linguistic component of any professional language. Assimilation, understanding of terminology, the ability to work with terms is a prerequisite for the acquisition of special education. A highly qualified doctor is distinguished by extensive knowledge of terminology and proficiency in it. Doctors possess the richest, most complex, most extensive and diverse terminology, the roots of which go back to the distant past of world science, in the times of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Therefore, medical students from the first year begin to study the language of medical science "Latin and the basics of medical terminology", learn to work with different types of terms in order to further apply their knowledge in other medical disciplines. The lexical fund, numerous word-forming elements of ancient Greek and Latin languages remain to this day the main international source for replenishing terminology.

The development of medical terminology is influenced by events taking place in the medical community, new diseases and challenges.

Let's consider the well-known concepts related to the coronavirus epidemic from the point of view of word formation and origin.

The Latin word virus- The poison appeared in scientific use in 1898, it was introduced by the Dutch scientist Martin Beyerik.

The scientific name of the coronavirus infection COVID-19 is an abbreviation of Coronavirus DISEASE 2019 (coronavirus disease 2019)

VIRUS (from lat. virus - "pathogenic poison") - organisms that are not able to exist and reproduce on their own. They are able to survive and reproduce only in other cells.

RESPIRATOR (Lat. respirator) (from Lat. re+spirare- breathe) - means of individual respiratory protection.

EPIDEMIC (Latin epidemic) (from Greek epi- above, above + Greek. demos region, country, people) - the spread of an infectious disease among people over a vast territory.

PULSE OXIMETER (Lat. pulsoximeter) (Lat. oxy – oxygen, meter -measure) - a device that determines the level of oxygen saturation in the blood.

SATURATION (Lat. saturatio) (Lat. saturatio - saturation) is the saturation of blood with oxygen — the main parameter that determines the pulse oximeter.

PANDEMIC (Lat. pandemic) (from Greek pan- all + Greek demos region, country, people) - when the disease spreads beyond the borders of one country.

INFECTION (Lat.infectio) (from Lat. inficio — I bring something harmful, infect) is the invasion of pathogenic agents into the tissues of the body, their reproduction and the reaction of host tissues to infectious agents and toxins produced by them.

OBSERVATION (Lat. observatio) (from Lat. observatio - observation) - isolation in conditions of medical supervision with strict restrictions.

PREVENTION (Latin prophylaxis) (from Greek. pro+phylatto – protect) is a complex of medical, sanitary, hygienic, pedagogical and socio-economic measures aimed at preventing diseases and eliminating risk factors.

ANTISEPTICS (Latin antiseptica) (from Latin anti — against + septicus — putrefaction) is a system of measures aimed at destroying microorganisms in the wound, organs and tissues, as well as in the patient's body as a whole.

IMMUNITY (Latin immunitas) (from lat. im+munitas liberation, getting rid of anything) - the ability of an organism to maintain its biological individuality by recognizing and removing foreign substances and cells.

HIGH TEMPERATURE (Latin hyperthermia) (from Greek. hyper - over, above normal + thermia -temperature) is a violation of thermoregulation, in which the temperature rises above 37 ° C.

PNEUMONIA (Latin. pneumonia) (from Greek. pneumonia – inflammation of the lungs; pneumo- lung) - edema (inflammation) tissues in one or both lungs.

HOSPITALIZATION (Lat. hospitalisatio) (from Lat. hospitalis — hospital — medical institution) - the placement of a patient in a hospital of a medical organization of private or state ownership.

POLYCLINIC (Latin polyclinica) (from Greek poly - many + French clinique "hospital") is a multidisciplinary or specialized medical and preventive institution for providing outpatient medical care to patients at reception and at home.

THERAPIST (Latin therapeutes) (from Greek. therapia - treatment) is a general medical practitioner specializing in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of a wide range of diseases.

DIAGNOSIS (from the Greek dia+ gnosis recognition) is a brief medical opinion on the pathological state of health of the subject.

The discussion has compiled a brief lexicon of the main words and concepts related to the coronavirus pandemic that has befallen the whole world. Terms and concepts are analyzed from the point of view of word formation and origin. The analysis shows that they all go back to the vocabulary of ancient Greece and Rome. The world of modern concepts owes their ancient originators.

Conclusions It is important for medical professionals, all educated and enlightened people to remember the origins of modern science. This is especially valuable for medical students, since they learn to work with Greek and Latin terms in the course of studying the discipline "Latin language and the basics of medical terminology". Epidemics come and go, but the connection of the links of a single science from antiquity to the present must always be preserved as long as humanity exists.


About the authors

Angelina Alexandrovna Tsukanova

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko

ORCID iD: 0009-0004-6997-3211

student of the 1st year of the Faculty  of Pediatrics

Russian Federation, 10 Studentskaya str., Voronezh, 394036,Russia

Olga Vasilevna Makhinova

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1799-6361

teacher, chair of foreign languages

Russian Federation, 10 Studentskaya str., Voronezh, 394036,Russia


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