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What is the difference between an outbreak,
epidemic, and a pandemic?
Outbreak describes the sudden rise in the incidence of a disease,
especially a harmful one. An outbreak is characterized by a disease's
bypassing of measures to control it.
An epidemic is a disease that affects many people at the same time, such
as the flu. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's official
definition of epidemic is: 'The occurrence of more cases of disease than
expected in a given area or among a specific group of people over a
particular period of time'.
A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease.
What is an epidemic?
• An epidemic occurs when an infectious
disease spreads rapidly to many
people. In 2003, the severe acute
respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic
took the lives of nearly 800 people.
What is a pandemic?
• A pandemic is a global disease
• Spanish influenza killed 40-50 million
people in 1918.