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Glossary

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Term Definition
Vaccine

A preparation designed to induce immunity to a specific disease

Venereal

Pertaining to or caused by sexual intercourse or genital contact

Vesicle

Also known as: Blister


A small raised area of the outer layer of the skin filled with a watery liquid

Viral load

Number of copies of viral genetic material

Virilization

Development of masculine physical characteristics in a woman

Virus

A microorganism consisting of a nucleic acid (either DNA or RNA) core and a protein coat. A virus requires a host cell to reproduce. It reproduces by infecting a host cell and taking over the nucleic acid of that host cell, making more virus nucleic acid and protein.

Viscosity

Resistance of a fluid (e.g., plasma, serum, cerebrospinal fluid) to flow; thickness or stickiness of a fluid

Vitamin

Any of a group of substances that, in very small amounts, are essential for normal growth, development, and metabolism. They cannot be synthesized in the body (with a few exceptions) and must be supplied by the diet.

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