Epidemic means a disease affecting a whole people. This means that when there is an outbreak of a disease, it spreads to a large enough degree that it afflicts many individuals in a given population. When an epidemic spreads to a large enough amount of groups of people in a large enough territory it is deemed a pandemic
An example of an epidemic was when the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2
, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19
, arose it was an epidemic located in Wuhan
, China. Once it spread to other areas around the globe and became an epidemic in numerous other populations, it was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The word epidemic derives from Ancient Greek, where epi
means "upon" and demic, refers to the word demos
, meaning "people". Epidemic then began to be used, as the prevalent use today, as referring to the spread of a disease.
The correct pronunciation of epidemic in English is Eh-pih-deh-mick
. Both of the "e" sounds in epidemic are pronounced with a soft "e" and not pronounced with a hard "ee" sound.