To designate the “grouping in time and space of disease cases” by being understood by all, we commonly speak of “outbreak (epidemic)”, rather than using the English term (disease) cluster.
“Foyer” is also the term used in other Romanesque languages, which, moreover, ignore the English word. In Catalan, we speak of focus (epidèmic), in Spanish from foco (de contaminación), in Italian for focolaio (di infezione) and in Portuguese of foco (de contaminação).
And when it comes to biostatistics and epidemiology, the “significant grouping of cases with at least one common characteristic”, we’re talking about “cluster” or “group”.
Download the brochure: "Health crisis: saying it in French" by clicking on the image.
The role of the Ministry of Culture
To understand these new terms and discover the French equivalents of English terms, we can count on health professionals and linguists, grouped together within the French-language enrichment system, to develop a reference vocabulary made available to the administrations and services of the State, which have a duty of exemplary in the drafting of texts in French, as well as to all citizens!
The proposed reference vocabulary, which goes beyond therapeutic trials or vaccines, covers all medical disciplines. The General Delegation for the French Language and the Languages of France, which coordinates the system for enriching the French language, has compiled nearly 250 terms recommended in the Vocabulaire de la santé et de la médecine published in 2020, to be consulted on the site www.franceterme.culture.fr or free of charge by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.