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Outbreak is a term used in epidemiology to describe an occurrence of disease greater than would otherwise be expected at a particular time and place. it may affect a small and localized group or impact upon thousands of people across an entire continent. two linked cases of a rare infectious disease may be sufficient to constitute an outbreak. outbreaks may also refer to epidemics, which affect a region in a country or a group of countries, or pandemics, which describe global disease outbreaks.