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Unit 3
Disease Outbreak
 A disease outbreak happens when a disease
occurs in greater numbers than expected in a
community, region or during a season.
 Can last from days to years.
 Sometimes a single disease can be considered
an outbreak (if it is a new disease in a new
Epidemic vs. Pandemic
 Both terms refer to the spread of
infectious disease in a population.
 They refer to the rate of infection and/or
the area that is affected.
 There are two main differences in the
 An illness or health related issue that is showing up in
more cases than would normally be expected.
 It occurs when an infectious disease spreads rapidly to
many people.
 2003-SARS took lives of 800 people worldwide.
 Malaria can reach epidemic levels in Africa, but is not a
threat worldwide, so would not become a pandemic.
 Pandemic is used to indicate a far higher
number of people affected than an
 Pandemic refers to a larger region being
affected (most serious case would be a
global pandemic).
 A flu strain can start out as an epidemic, but
can become a pandemic (this is not unusual for
a new virus because people’s immune systems
have not been exposed to it and are not ready
to fight it off).
 Swine flu (started in Mexico City and is now in
New Zealand, Israel, Scotland and many other
 The 1918 Spanish Flu and the Black
Plague are extreme examples of
 Keep in mind, that a pandemic does NOT
necessarily mean millions of deaths, it
means that it is a geographically
widespread epidemic.