What is an epidemic


from Greek: epí - over and démos - people
English: epidemic

1 definition

A epidemic describes a highly frequent occurrence of a disease, especially an infectious disease, which is limited in time and place.

2 classification

As Explosive epidemics are the steep rises and falls in the spread of the disease. This is the case, for example, if it spreads via drinking water. In contrast, is a Tardive epidemic characterized by a slow rise and fall in the number of cases of illness. The latter often applies to a disease that is transmitted through physical contact.

3 delimitation

In contrast, an "endemic" describes a localized spread of a disease (usually an infectious disease). The increased prevalence of the disease in the affected area remains more or less the same.

A "pandemic" describes the spread of a certain disease that is geographically unlimited and affects a large part of the population over large areas and continents. This is the case with some influenza viruses and globally occurring diseases such as HIV or tuberculosis. Popularly, "endemic" and "pandemic" are often incorrectly referred to as "epidemic".

limited limited temporary unlimited
locally limited locally unlimited locally limited

4 conditions

An epidemic can occur if the R.0Value (see SIR model) is greater than 1.