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Pandemic



Definition:

Infectious disease epidemic which has spread across a large area, i.e. continent or worldwide.
World Health Organization (WHO) advises that a pandemic can start when three conditions occur:
  • New disease spreads to a population.
  • The infectious agent infects humans, causing serious illness.
  • The infectious agents spread easily & sustainably among humans.
Derivation:
Comes from the Greek πᾶν pan "all" + δῆμος demos "people".

Organisms known to cause pandemics include:
  • Bubonic plague (i.e. The Black Death)
  • Cholera
  • Influenza
  • Malaria
  • Measles
  • Smallpox
  • Typhus
  • Yellow fever
Potential pandemic infectious risks include:
  • Avian flu (H5N1)
  • Bolivian hemorrhagic fever
  • Ebola virus
  • Lassa fever
  • Marburg virus
  • Rift Valley fever
  • SARS
Image Credit - modification of image by Quiplash flickr (cc).

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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