10:20 GMT27 February 2021
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    A significant number of adult UK citizens struggle to explain the meaning of words and phrases related to the coronavirus pandemic, such as “antigen”, “epidemiologist”, or “flatten the curve”, new research shows.

    Lots of people in the United Kingdom do not know what key words used to describe the COVID-19 situation in the world actually mean, The Guardian has reported, citing research company Savanta ComRes.

    The consultancy has reportedly asked 2,302 UK adults about their familiarity with words that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other British politicians have been using on a daily basis for almost a year now – and came to somewhat surprising results.

    Nearly half of the respondents have no clue what “epidemiologist”, “antigen” or “antibody” mean, the survey showed, while a significant number (29-41%) have problems with explaining the phrases “stay alert”, “circuit breaker”, “flatten the curve” or “support bubble”.

    It was also revealed that only every fifth respondent can confidently explain the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test which is used to detect if the person has contracted the virus.

    Kate Pogson, head of MHP Health consultancy, described the results of the study as “worrying”, adding that lack of knowledge of the already common terms could lead to more misinformation.

    “[The results] tell us that one year on there is still a significant level of question around the meaning of words which have been in our vocabulary since the start of the pandemic”, Pogson said.

    Currently, over 3.5 mln coronavirus cases have been reported in the UK, with the death toll standing at 94,580.

    Tags:
    research, UK, pandemic
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