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GEN: COVID-19 Information: Previous Epidemics/Pandemics

Definitions

What's the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic?

From the OED:

Epidemic

A. adj.
 1. Of a disease: ‘Prevalent among a people or a community at a special time, and produced by some special causes not generally present in the affected locality’ ( New Sydenham Soc. Lexicon).
 2. In more extended sense: Wide-spread, widely prevalent, universal. Obsolete.
 3. That is a product of a particular region; cf. epichorial adj. Obsolete.
 B. n.
  An epidemic disease.

Pandemic

A. adj.
 1. a. Of a disease: epidemic over a very large area; affecting a large proportion of a population. Also: of or relating to such a disease. Cf. epidemic adj. 
 b. gen. Frequently depreciative. General, universal, widespread.
 2. Of or relating to physical or sensual love (as opposed to spiritual or divine love).
B. n.
  A pandemic disease; an outbreak of such a disease.

History

by Cox Library