An outbreak of an illness occurs when there is an increase in the number of people who live in the same area and are infected around the same time by an organism such as a virus or bacteria. A community may have an outbreak of the flu or measles as these specific viruses spread very easily through the air, through direct contact, or through contact with objects exposed to the droplets of the virus.
Organisms passed to people from insects or rodents can cause outbreaks too. These outbreaks usually do not spread much beyond the region where the rodents or insects live.
Adaptation Date: 3/16/2015
Adapted By: HealthLink BC
Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC
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