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What Is An Epidemic Outbreak, What Are Its Causes & How to Protect Yourself From It?

What Is An Epidemic Outbreak & What Are Its Causes?

An epidemic outbreak is a rapid spread of an infectious disease to a large number of people in a particular population within a short period of time. There can be various factors which can lead to an epidemic outbreak, such as.

Human Population Dynamics and Behaviour. An increasing population increases the possibility of someone encountering a virus and spreading it further. Travelling to greater distances allows the virus to spread to greater distances more quickly resulting in an epidemic outbreak. Cultural Norms Also Can Lead To An Infectious Disease Outbreak

  • Changes in Pathogen Reservoir Populations. The viruses find their way into the new carriers and reach the new ecosystem and population. There they find a new reservoir which can lead to a recurrent outbreak.
  • Changes in the Virus. A change in the virus itself allows it to be an epidemic. For example, the influenza virus changes regularly as the small mutation change happens and sometimes with a bigger shift. This makes it important to develop a new vaccine every season.
  • Seasonal Factors. There are certain epidemics which occur in certain seasons, such as a whooping cough in spring, measles in winters or in March, and influenza most commonly in winters.
  • Contaminated Food and Drinks. Contaminated food and water also allow the medium for vector growth. This can be a reason for an epidemic to break in and spread.

How Can You Protect Yourself From An Epidemic Outbreak?

You can always decrease the risk of getting yourself and others infected by an epidemic outbreak. Here are 8 different ways on how you can protect yourself from an epidemic outbreak.

  1. Wash Your Hands Frequently. Hands are the primary medium from where we pick up the infection and take it in or spread it further. It is therefore very important to wash hands before and after meals, and after using the toilet to protect yourself from an epidemic outbreak.
  2. Get Vaccinated. Vaccines help the body fight against various infections and reduce the chances of the disease affecting our body. Keeping the knowledge of vaccine up to date is important to keep yourself away from contracting the epidemic.
  3. Antibiotics. It is important to complete the dose of the prescribed antibiotics unless you are allergic to them, even if you feel better before completing the medicine course. Also, take antibiotic only when prescribed by the doctor.
  4. Stay Home If Suffering From The Infection. Staying away from work or school helps in preventing the spread of infection to a larger community. If suffering from any of the infections, such as flu, diarrhea, or fever it is better to stay at home and rest. This will help protect others from an epidemic outbreak.
  5. Be Smart With Food Preparations. Keep the kitchen and the kitchen counters clean. Never keep the prepared food at room temperature for an extended period of time. Promptly refrigerate the food, if not used. Doing all this will surely help protect yourself from an epidemic outbreak.
  6. Disinfect the House. All the rooms and the kitchen and the bathrooms should be disinfected regularly. This will prevent the growth of bacteria and other infectious agents and hence prevent an epidemic outbreak.
  7. Travel Wisely. When you travel, make sure you speak to your doctor if any immunization is required. If suffering from any illness, make sure you do not travel as the infection might spread easily in a train or in a plane, as there are so many people confined to a small area. Also, if ill the travel would not be comfortable for you. So travel with complete immunizations to protect yourself from an epidemic outbreak.
  8. Do Not Share Personal Items. Sharing personal items, such as comb, razor, drinking glass or utensils might also spread the infection easily and cause an epidemic outbreak.


Being little precautious can help you avoid contracting the epidemic and also prevent the spread of infection. So make use of the above tips to protect you from an epidemic outbreak.


  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) – Epidemic Outbreaks and Prevention Strategies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6131907/
  2. Mayo Clinic – Infectious Diseases: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/infectious-diseases/symptoms-causes/syc-20351173

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 31, 2023
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