GC: n

S: WHO – http://www.who.int/csr/en/ (last access: 22 January 2013); http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3273 (last access: 6 September 2015).

N: 1. epidemic (n.): 1757, “an epidemic disease, a temporary prevalence of a disease throughout a community,” from epidemic (adj.); earlier epideme (see epidemy). An Old English noun for this (persisting in Middle English) was man-cwealm.
epidemic (adj.): c.1600, “common to or affecting a whole people,” originally and usually, though not etymologically, in reference to diseases, from French épidémique, from épidemié “an epidemic disease,” from Medieval Latin epidemia, from Greek epidemia “a stay in a place; prevalence of an epidemic disease” (especially the plague), from epi “among, upon” (see epi-) + demos “people, district” (see demotic).
2. epidemic, an occurrence of disease that is temporarily of high prevalence. An epidemic occurring over a wide geographical area (e.g., worldwide) is called a pandemic. The rise and decline in epidemic prevalence of an infectious disease is a probability phenomenon dependent upon transfer of an effective dose of the infectious agent from an infected individual to a susceptible one. After an epidemic has subsided, the affected host population contains a sufficiently small proportion of susceptible individuals that reintroduction of the infection will not result in a new epidemic.
3. Epidemic describes a disease that is widespread, affecting an “atypically large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time,” according to the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary. The disease, however eventually subsides.
4. Collocations:

  • Adj.: major | widespread, worldwide | cholera, flu, typhoid, etc.
  • Epidemic + verb break out, strike (sth) | spread, sweep (sth).
  • Prep.: during/in an/the ~ | ~ of.

S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=epidemic&searchmode=none (last access: 3 September 2014). 2. EncBrit – http://global.britannica.com/science/epidemic (last access: 6 September 2015). 3. http://www.vocabulary.com/articles/chooseyourwords/endemic-epidemic/ (last access: 6 September 2015). 4. OD – http://oxforddictionary.so8848.com/search?word=epidemic (last access: 27 May 2015).


CR: endemic disease, enzootic, epidemiology, epizootic, outbreak, pandemic.