Medical Definition of Pandemic
Pandemic: An epidemic (a sudden outbreak) that becomes very widespread and affects a whole region, a continent, or the world due to a susceptible population. By definition, a true pandemic causes a high degree of mortality (death)
The word "pandemic" comes from the Greek "pan-", "all" + "demos," "people or population" = "pandemos" = "all the people." A pandemic affects all (nearly all) of the people. By contrast, "epi-" means "upon." An epidemic is visited upon the people. And "en-" means "in." An endemic is in the people.
Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016
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