In medicine, an acute disease is a disease with either or both of:
- a rapid onset;
- a short course (as opposed to a chronic course).
The term 'acute' may often be confused by the general public to mean 'severe'. This however, is a different characteristic.
Acute hospitals are those intended for short-term medical and/or surgical treatment and care.
- Between acute and chronic: subacute fever symptoms; subacute endocarditis.