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index patient

[ in-deks pey-shuhnt ]
/ ˈɪn dɛks ˌpeɪ ʃənt /
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noun Pathology.
the first person known to have a particular disease or other medical condition in a population, especially the first patient in an epidemic known to have contracted the infection: The index patient did not immediately test positive, and consequently spread the virus for several days.
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Also called in·dex case pa·tient [in-deks keys pey-shuhnt] /ˈɪn dɛks ˌkeɪs ˌpeɪ ʃənt/ .

Origin of index patient

First recorded in 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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