they could seed further outbreaks.


Senior Member
Ebola rages on in West Africa. More cases outside the hardest hit countries are inevitable, and they could seed further outbreaks.

Source: university exam

I have checked WR dictionary but still I am confused that what "seed" means in the blue part.
It has many definitions.

Does it mean "produce"?

Thank you.
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    It's used sort of metaphorically. A plant will grow from seed, but an outbreak of disease is not a plant.
    Nevertheless, if you visit West Africa and contract ebola, then when you return to your home country you can act as a source of infection within your area. You would be like a seed.