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Know your medical terms: Pandemic

Do you know what 'pandemic' means? Here is a simple explanation.

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Updated : August 27, 2014 10:38 AM IST

PANDEMICWhenever you read or hear about any recent disease outbreak affecting a large group of population, you may come across a term - pandemic. But do you know what this term actually means?

The word 'pandemic' is derived from a Greek word pandemos, where 'pan' means all and 'demos' means population or group of people. Hence pandemic is a clinical term that means affecting all or nearly everyone in the population. Pandemic refers to a sudden outbreak (epidemic) of disease/illness that affects an entire region, continent or the world due to a group of people who are susceptible (people who are at high risk or vulnerable) to a specific disease. A true pandemic causes a high rate of death as it affects a large population and spreads very rapidly within the group.

Some of the pandemics of ancient times include small pox and tuberculosis, while the recent ones include the HIV pandemic and H1N1 pandemic.

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