At the same time as an epidemic of the flu broke out among the people, an epizootic of the swine flu broke out among their pigs.
Origin of epizootic
- epi– zo(o)– –otic
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From French épizootique, animal equivalent of epidemic, from épizootie, irregularly formed from Ancient Greek ἐπί (epi-) + ζῷον (zōon, “animal”). epi- + zo- + -otic. Use of the word in the second sense, "an ailment", was likely originally a reference to a particular epizootic ailment. Both senses are attested since at least the 1800s, and the pronunciation with five syllables is explicitly attested since then as well. Dialectal pronunciation of the second sense with four syllables is attested since at least the 1910s in spellings like "epizudic" and is suggested by 1870s references to a shortened form of the word, "zooty".