The WHO (World Health Organization) Level 6 requirement for a pandemic requires serious outbreaks in communities in two or more different WHO regions.

According to the WHO, a pandemic can start when three conditions have been met:

  • Emergence of a disease new to a population.
  • Agents infecting humans, causing serious illness.
  • Agents spreading easily and sustainably among humans.

A disease or condition is not a pandemic merely because it is widespread or kills many people; it must also be infectious. For instance, cancer is responsible for many deaths but is not considered a pandemic, because the disease is not infectious or contagious.

Posted in: Definitions

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