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(veterinary medicine)
Affecting many animals of one kind in one region simultaneously; widely diffuse and rapidly spreading.
An extensive outbreak of an epizootic disease.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a widely spreading contagious disease (infectious or infestatant) of animals, with morbidity far in excess of that ordinarily (sporadically) observed in a particular locality. The study of epizootics is called epizootiology.

An epizootic is characterized by the steady spread of an infectious disease and a microbe-carrier state among animals. An epizootic can occur only in the presence of a number of interdependent elements that constitute an epizootic chain: the source of the causative agent (a diseased animal or animal microbe-carrier), live transmitters or environmental factors conducive to infection, and susceptible animals. The outbreak and spread of an epizootic are influenced by geographic, climatic, soil, and other environmental conditions and economic factors, including agricultural conditions, as well as social upheavals, such as war or economic crisis. The nature and duration of an epizootic vary depending on the means of transmission of the causative agent, the length of the incubation period, the ratio of diseased to susceptible animals, the conditions under which animals are maintained, and the effectiveness of the countermeasures.

Epizootics of certain diseases may occur periodically, usually every few years. They tend to break out seasonally and to have specific stages of development. All of these characteristics are most evident when the epizootic progresses spontaneously. Intervention by man, specifically the use of countermeasures, as in the USSR, to a considerable degree prevents the spread of epizootics.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The World Health Organisation now considers it "essential" to add swine flu to the list of epizootic diseases that must be reported.
In order to avoid spreading the epizootic disease, a complete stop to the movement of all animals was decreed very soon after the first case was confirmed.
The SCO countries signed a cooperation program on food security and memorandum on technical cooperation in joint prevention of and fight against trans-boundary epizootic diseases.
Among epizootic diseases of India, Haemorrhagic septicaemia is placed on highest for mortality and second for morbidity (Dutta et al.,1990).
Epizootic diseases spread rapidly, simultaneously affecting a large number of animals in a region.
He said: "Unfortunately epizootic diseases, zoonotic diseases and novel, emerging diseases are no respecter of animal species and can infect not only farm but also companion animals.

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