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A collection of events such as new cases of an uncommon or rare disease that occur so closely together in space and/or time as to arouse suspicion that this is not a chance occurrence but has a cause that should be investigated. Epidemiologists and statisticians seek to distinguish between a chance cluster and an epidemic, for instance clusters of uncommon or rare childhood malignancies that may be associated with environmental contamination by carcinogenic chemicals or radioactive waste products from nuclear power plants.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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