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DEFINITION:

Pandemic: An epidemic (a sudden outbreak) that becomes very widespread and affects a whole region, a continent, or the world.


The word "pandemic" comes from the Greek "pan-", "all" + "demos", "people or population" = "pandemos" = "all the people." A pandemic affects all (nearly all) of the people. By contrast, "epi-" means "upon." An epidemic is visited upon the people. And "en-" means "in." An endemic is in the people.

What You Can Do to Stay Healthy

  • Stay informed. This website will be updated regularly as information becomes available.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • Take everyday actions to stay healthy.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Find healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
  • Call 1-800-CDC-INFO for more information.
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