Epidemic (epidemic: epidemics) is a sudden and rapid spread of a disease in a geographic area above its usual rates in the region concerned. Examples of epidemics are the epidemic of the Black Death during the Middle Ages. In modern times, SARS and bird flu have spread. An epidemic of disease among animals is called swava . The epidemic is caused by a specific cause that does not exist in the affected community, as opposed to the endemic, where the specific cause is present in the community