Definition of prophylaxis
: measures designed to preserve health (as of an individual or of society) and prevent the spread of disease
Recent Examples of prophylaxis from the Web
The 31-year-old oversees a program for Los Angeles County's Department of Public Health that educates medical providers about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication that decreases the risk of HIV up to 99 percent when taken as prescribed.
Prior to this case, pre-exposure prophylaxis had shown to be tremendously effective.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prophylaxis'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In Greek, phylax means "guard", so prophylactic measures guard against disease by taking action ahead of time. Thus, for example, before the polio vaccine became available, prophylaxis against polio included avoiding crowds and public swimming pools. These days a well-known kind of prophylactic is used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases; but prophylactic measures only work when people use them.
Origin and Etymology of prophylaxis
New Latin, from Greek prophylaktikos
First Known Use: 1683
Medical Definition of prophylaxis
: measures designed to preserve health and prevent the spread of disease : protective or preventive treatment prophylaxis against viral diseases a paste containing fluorine for dental prophylaxis
Seen and Heard
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