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Anglais médical - Tout savoir sur le Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Publié le 10/02/2020


Tout savoir sur le Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Tout savoir sur le Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)



Ce nouveau cours d’anglais, élaboré par Virginia Allum, auteur et consultante EMP (English for Medical Purposes) s’intéresse au Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Les corrigés des exercices sont à retrouver en PDF en bas de page. N'hésitez pas à vous servir du dictionnaire en ligne Wordreference. Vous trouverez à la fin de cet article les corrections des exercices qui vous sont proposés téléchargeables au format pdf.

Vocabulary list

virus-like d’allure virale
the risk of infection le risque infectieux
WHO (World Health Organisation) l’OMS (l’Organisation mondiale de la santé)
warning symptoms les symptômes d’alerte
human-to-human transmission transmission interhumaine
MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) MERS-CoV (le coronavirus du syndrome respiratoire du Moyen-Orient)
SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) le SRAS (syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère)
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) l’EPI (équipement de protection individuelle)
outbreak of a disease apparition de une maladie
strain of a virus souche du virus
tightening in the chest sensation d'oppression dans la poitrine
dyspnoea dyspnée
incubation period durée de l'incubation
acute respiratory distress détresse respiratoire aiguë
multiple organ failure défaillance multi viscérale
droplet precautions précautions gouttelettes
flu vaccination vaccination antigrippale

Activity 1 - Complete the definitions using the terms in the table above

  1. ………. : group of health professionals who coordinate international health programmes around the world.
  2. ………. : medical term meaning difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  3. ………. : a group of micro-organisms which are distinct from other groups of the same species.
  4. ………. : altered function in two or more organ systems during an acute illness.
  5. ………. : describes molecules that resemble viruses, but are not infectious because they lack viral genetic material.   
  6. ………. : a serious condition in which the lungs are unable to provide enough oxygen to the body’s organs.
  7. ………. : use of mask, gown and gloves to avoid the transmission of germs which are sneezed or coughed out.
  8. ………. : time between exposure to an infection and the appearance of first symptoms.


Activity 2 - Read the text and answer the questions

The 2019 Coronavirus : how Serious ?

In December, 2019 a virus-like pneumonia of unknown aetiology appeared in a village in Wuhan, China. By January, 2020 a new strain of coronavirus had been discovered, one which differed from previous coronaviruses (SARS and MERS). Coronaviruses which were first identified in the mid-1960s, are named after the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are currently seven coronaviruses that can infect people as well as several others that only affect animals.

Coronaviruses are classified as zoonotic, because they are transmitted between animals and people.  SARS-CoV was found to be transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV is transmitted from dromedary camels to humans.

By 10 January, 2020 WHO had published interim guidance for all countries to help them prepare for the virus and monitor those who were already sick. Guidance was also given on effective monitoring of the disease and the maintenance of supplies. Although initial guidance suggested that travel restrictions were unnecessary, by the end of January WHO had declared the new coronavirus a global health emergency with almost 10,000 confirmed cases in China.


The clinical signs and symptoms of 2019-nCoV disease include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing with the additional radiological findings of pneumonia. Patients may present with a range of symptoms from mild respiratory illness to acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis.

Because there is no specific treatment for the disease, patient management focuses on supportive care and standard infection control precautions such as regular hand washing, covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs and avoiding contact with anyone showing signs of respiratory distress. As yet, there are no vaccines against coronaviruses.

  1. The 2019 coronavirus is of unknown aetiology meaning…
    A  its treatment is unclear
    B  its cause is not known
    C  its transmission is not known
  2. One of the common factors of many coronaviruses is…
    A   the severity of their symptoms
    B   the incubation period
    C  their transmission from animal to human
  3. Supportive care of patients with respiratory distress includes …
    A   delivery of oxygen when patients are breathless
    B    emotional support if patients are depressed
    C    mask and goggles to avoid droplet infection
  4. Clinical treatment of the 2019 coronavirus does not currently include…
    A   antiflu vaccination
    B   specific vaccination
    C   antiviral treatment

Medical terms : respiratory symptoms

Activity 3 - Match the terms with their correct meanings.

1. dyspnoea a) noisy breathing seen in asthma
2. phlegm b) expulsion of air and sputum from the lungs
3. sneezing c) shortness of breath
4. coughing d) feeling of discomfort in the middle of the chest
5. chest tightness e) thick, sticky substance secreted by the mucous membranes
6. wheezing f) involuntary expulsion of air through the nose

Word Study : corona, coronal and coronoid

Corona : from the Latin corona meaning crown

  1. Relating to or resembling a crown.
  2. Denoting various anatomic structures, for example, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments.
  3. Specifically, denoting the coronary blood vessels of the heart and, colloquially, coronary, thrombosis.

Coronal: from the Latin corona meaning crown or top of the body. The coronal plane is a plane that divides the body vertically into anterior and posterior, or front and back, sections.

Coronoid from the Greek korone meaning crow and eidos meaning resembling

Coronoid process : describes processes of the body which are shaped like a crow’s beak, e.g. the coronoid process in the mandible (jawbone) and the coronoid process in the ulna (forearm).

Téléchargez les corrections au format PDF

Virginia ALLUM, Author and Consultant in English for Medical Purposes 

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