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A pandemic (from Greek πᾶν pan "all" + δῆμος demos "people") is an epidemic of infectious disease that is spreading through human populations across a large region; for instance a continent, or even worldwide. A widespread endemic disease that is stable in terms of how many people are getting sick from it is not a pandemic. Further, flu pandemics exclude seasonal flu, unless the flu of the season is a pandemic. Throughout history there have been a number of pandemics, such as smallpox and tuberculosis. More recent pandemics include the HIV pandemic and the 2009 flu pandemic.

In popular culture

Pandemics appear in multiple fiction works. A common use is in disaster films, where the protagonists must avoid the effects of the plague, for example zombies.




  • Spanish Flu: The Forgotten Fallen (2009), a television drama
  • Helix (2014–2015), a television series that depicts a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who are tasked to prevent pandemics from occurring.
  • The Last Man on Earth (2015–2018), a television series about a group of survivors after a pandemic has wiped out most life (humans and animals) on Earth
  • 12 Monkeys (2015–2018), a television series that depicts James Cole, a time traveler, who travels from the year 2043 to the present day to stop the release of a deadly virus.
  • Survivors (1975–1977), classic BBC series created by Terry Nation. The series follows a group of people as they come to terms with the aftermath of a world pandemic.
  • Survivors (2008), BBC series, loosely based on the Terry Nation book that came after the series, instead of a retelling of the original TV series.
  • The Last Train 1999 written by Matthew Graham
  • World Without End (2012), chronicles the experiences of the medieval English town of Kingsbridge during the outbreak of the Black Death, based on Ken Follett's 2007 novel of the same name.
  • The Hot Zone (2019), a television series based on the 1994 non-fiction book of the same name by Richard Preston.
  • Pandemic: How to Prevent An Outbreak (2020), Netflix's docuseries
  • The Walking Dead (2010–), a virus appears that kills people and then revives them by turning them into zombies. An Atlanta group will try to survive in this new, post-apocalyptic world


  • Resident Evil series (1996-2020), video game series focusing on T-virus pandemic and eventual zombie apocalypse as part of a bioterrorism act. The video games later evolved to be focusing on parasites and bioweapons.
  • Deus Ex, A World Wide Plague known as grey death infects the world created by Majestic 12 to bring about population reduction and New World order.
  • Pandemic (2008), a cooperative board game in which the players have to discover the cures for four diseases that break out at the same time.
  • Plague Inc. (2012), a smartphone game from Ndemic Creations, where the goal is to kill off the human race with a plague.
  • The Last of Us (2013), a post-apocalyptic survival game on PS3 and PS4 by Naughty Dog.
  • Tom Clancy's The Division (2015) A video game about a bioterrorist attack that has devastated the United States and thrown New York into anarchy.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pandemic" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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