- An epidemic outbreak of disease in an animal population, with the implication often that it may extend to humans. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) define "epizootic" as "An outbreak or epidemic of disease in animal populations." For example, Rift Valley fever primarily affects livestock and can cause disease in a large number of domestic animals — an "epizootic" — and the presence of an RVF epizootic can lead to an epidemic among humans who are exposed to diseased animals. The word "epizootic" is pronounced ep´i-zo-ot´ik. It has Greek roots: epi- meaning "on" among other things, + zoon, "animal."
* * *1. Denoting a temporal pattern of disease occurrence in an animal population in which the disease occurs with a frequency clearly in excess of the expected frequency in that population during a given time interval. 2. An outbreak (epidemic) of disease in an animal population. [epi- + G. zoon, animal]
* * *epi·zo·ot·ic .ep-ə-zə-'wät-ik n an outbreak of disease affecting many animals of one kind at the same time also the disease itselfepizootic adjepi·zo·ot·i·cal·ly -i-k(ə-)lē adv
* * *epi·zo·ot·ic (ep″ĭ-zo-otґik) 1. attacking many animals in any region at the same time; widely diffused and rapidly spreading. 2. a disease of high morbidity which is only occasionally present in an animal community. Cf. enzootic.
Medical dictionary. 2011.