Home > Wellness > Health Library > Outbreak
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 that specific organism spreads through the water or food in that area.
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.
Current as of: February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
270 Pine Mountain Road
Hudson, NC 28638
8439 Valley Blvd.
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
902 Kirkwood St. NW
Lenoir, NC 28645