This trio of terms describes various degrees of an infectious disease's spread. The process begins with an outbreak—a sudden rise in the presence of a disease. An outbreak that can't be stopped or slowed, and in which the disease is spreading rapidly to many people within a localized community or region (such as a single country), is called an epidemic. The word pandemic refers to an epidemic that has gone international: the disease, once localized in scope, now starts to appear in other countries and even on other continents, typically infecting a large number of people in a short amount of time. A pandemic often has significant economic and social ramifications due to its global impact. If a disease lingers for a long time as an epidemic or a pandemic, it may eventually become endemic to an area. The word endemic describes a disease that persists at a consistent level within a region with fairly predictable rates of infection and spread, making it easier to prevent future outbreaks. Epidemic, pandemic, and endemic all share the Greek root dêmos, meaning "district, country, people."
Examples of pandemic in a Sentence
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pandemic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.