An outbreak and an epidemic are two different things that are used differently in a context.
An outbreak can be simply defined as a sudden occurrence of a disease in an area in greater numbers than its normal occurrence. All the cases in an outbreak are interconnected.
An outbreak can take a short or long duration before it ends. An outbreak can affect few people to tens of thousands. An outbreak can be localized in a small community or specific location.
An epidemic can be defined as a widespread disease. An epidemic generally affects a bigger population when compared to an outbreak. One of the major character tics of the epidemic is that there is a continuous transmission of the causative agent among individuals. An epidemic affects more individuals when compared to an outbreak.
An outbreak is unforeseen of a disease in a specific area in more significant numbers than it typically occurs. The outbreak could be confined in a small area, but it may also appear in a broader region. An example of an epidemic is the E Coli infection.
However, the outbreaks are more localized, whereas an epidemic is widespread. An epidemic has a higher number of cases of a particular disease in a specific area. It usually has a considerable impact on a more significant population, as opposed to an outbreak, and the epidemic process is characterized by a perpetual transmission of the virus or sickness among individuals.
There are three factors needed to create an epidemic. These include a source of the infectious process, the spread of the illness, and susceptible disease individuals.