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Epidemic

From Academic Kids

An epidemic is generally a widespread disease that affects many individuals in a population. An epidemic may be restricted to one locale or may even be global (pandemic). An outbreak of a disease is defined as being epidemic, however, not by how many members or what proportion of the population it infects but by how fast it is growing. When each infected individual is infecting more than one other individual, so that the number of infected individuals is growing exponentially, the disease is in an epidemic state. Thus even if the number of people affected is small, the phenomenon may still be called an epidemic, although for small epidemics the term "outbreak" is more often used.

For an epidemic state:

<math>

\ {R_0} \times {S} > {1} <math>

Where R0 is the basic reproduction number of the infection and S is the proportion of the population who are susceptible to the infection. This is merely a mathematical formalisation of the rule stated above.

Famous examples of epidemics include the bubonic plague epidemic of Mediaeval Europe known as the Black Death, the Great Influenza Pandemic concurring with the end of World War I, and the current AIDS epidemic.

Template:Med-stub

See also

de:Epidemie es:Epidemia eo:Epidemio fr:pidmie lt:Epidemija nl:Epidemie pl:Epidemia pt:Epidemia sv:Epidemi zh:流行病

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