What is epidemic?

  • (noun): A widespread outbreak of an infectious disease; many people are infected at the same time.
    See also — Additional definitions below


In epidemiology, an epidemic (from επί (epi), meaning "upon or above" and δήμος (demos), meaning "people") occurs when new cases of a certain disease, in a given human population, and during a given period, substantially exceed what is expected based on recent experience. Epidemiologists often consider the term outbreak to be synonymous to epidemic, but the general public typically perceives outbreaks to be more local and less serious than epidemics.

Read more about Epidemic.

Some articles on epidemic:

Epidemic - Etymology
... The term epidemic derives from a term first attributed to Homer's Odyssey, which later took its medical meaning from a treatise by Hippocrates, Epidemics ... of Athens is considered one of the earliest accounts of a disease epidemic ...
San Pascualito - History
... The man was dying from an epidemic fever called cucumatz in Kaqchikel, and had received the last rites before a tall skeleton in glowing robes appeared to him in a ... the man receiving the vision would die within nine days, at which time the epidemic would also cease ... When the man died within the predicted timeframe and the epidemic ended, word of the vision spread, and images of San Pascualito became popular despite formal prohibition by the Spanish ...
Groningen Epidemic
... fevers’) that broke out in 1826 was a malaria epidemic that killed 2,844 people—nearly 10% of the population of the city of Groningen ... in the subsequent hot spring and summer of 1826 led to the epidemic ... The epidemic also hit Friesland and the German Wadden Sea region ...
Spanish Conquistadors - Disease in The Americas
... Epidemic disease is commonly cited as the primary reason for the population collapse ... of the population, had already died in a smallpox epidemic ... The first epidemic was recorded in 1529 and killed the emperor Huayna Capac, the father of Atahualpa ...
Squamish History - Assimilation and Discrimination - Epidemic
... Around 1782, a smallpox epidemic hit the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, coming in through networks in the trade with other nations, then spreading throughout the villages ...

More definitions of "epidemic":

  • (adj): (especially of medicine) of disease or anything resembling a disease; attacking or affecting many individuals in a community or a population simultaneously.
    Example: "An epidemic outbreak of influenza"

Famous quotes containing the word epidemic:

    This movie deals with the epidemic of the way we live now.
    What an inane cardplayer. And the age may support it.
    John Ashbery (b. 1927)