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Pandemic Disease

A pandemic is defined as “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people”. The classical definition includes nothing about population immunity, virology or disease severity. You probably know that COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is a pandemic. But what’s the difference between a pandemic, an epidemic, and an outbreak? And when does a disease become a public health concern? Here are the basics of the spread of serious diseases and what you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your community.

Outbreak

An outbreak is when an illness happens in unexpected high numbers. It may stay in one area or extend more widely. An outbreak can last days or years. Sometimes, experts consider a single case of a contagious disease to be an outbreak. This may be true if it’s an unknown disease, if it’s new to a community, or if it’s been absent from a population for a long time.

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Epidemic

An epidemic is when an infectious disease spreads quickly to more people than experts would expect. It usually affects a larger area than an outbreak.

Pandemic

A pandemic is a disease outbreak that spreads across countries or continents. It affects more people and takes more lives than an epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic when it became clear that the illness was severe and that it was spreading quickly over a wide area.

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Disaster

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Contact

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