An epidemic is a sudden increase in the confirmed number of cases of a contagious, infectious disease in a large geographic area, relative to what normally would be expected in the population (known as the baseline or endemic prevalence of the disease). Often used interchangeably with the terms outbreak and pandemic, epidemics differ from these other two terms in the degree of spread of the disease. Outbreaks are bounded within a limited geographic area, such as a city or state. When an outbreak spreads to a larger geographic region, such as an entire country, it is considered an epidemic. A pandemic is an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, affecting a large number of people. Each degree of spread places unique management ...

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