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Pandemics are not as well-known as epidemics, although pandemics pose a much greater threat. A European pandemic in the 1300s resulted in the death of about one third of the population. This entry defines pandemics; compares them with epidemics; explores their historical, current, and future significance; and discusses some countermeasures.

Pandemics Defined

There is little public awareness of pandemics. Many have never heard of them. Yet most people are familiar with the word epidemic, although they may not have a precise understanding of the term. A pandemic is an epidemic that spreads throughout a large area, such as a continent, or even across the globe. Medical News Today explained that in ancient Greek, pandemic means “all the people.”

Alan Zelicoff and Michael Bellomo provided multiple definitions. They defined ...

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