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Pandemic Vs Endemic Vs Epidemic

What is the definition and difference between Pandemic Vs Endemic Vs Epidemic

Definition of Epidemic
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According to WHO, Epidemic is the regional outbreak of an illness that spreads unexpectedly. It refers to an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of disease outside what is normally expected in the population of an area.

AN EPIDEMIC is a disease which affects a large number of people within a community, population, or region

Epidemics come about when an agent and susceptible hosts are present in adequate numbers, and the agent can be efficiently conveyed from a source to the susceptible hosts.

More specifically, an epidemic may result from:

  • A current raise in amount or virulence of the agent,
  • The recent introduction of agent into a setting where it has not been before,
  • An enhanced mode of transmission so that more vulnerable persons are exposed,
  • A change in the weakness of the host response to the agent, and/or
  • Factors that boost host exposure or involve introduction through new portals of entry

Examples of epidemics in India in the past include the outbreaks of zika virus, chikungunya and dengue fever.

Definition of Pandemic

Pandemic refers to an epidemic that has stretched across countries and continents — the worldwide spread of a new disease.

A PANDEMIC is an epidemic that spread over multiple countries or continents.

“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly,” warned Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, and claimed the global health body had previously avoided using the term because it didn’t want to give the impression that coronavirus was unstoppable or uncontainable.

Dengue fever as an example:

“An example of this is dengue fever. There are parts of the world where dengue fever is endemic, meaning that there are mosquitoes that are carrying dengue fever and transmitting it from one person to another person.

 But some imported cases were also seen and imported outbreaks in the parts of the world where the disease is not endemic,” says Dr Tosh.

” Most recently we saw an outbreak in the Big Island of Hawaii where somebody, unknown, must have come in with dengue fever, got bitten by mosquitoes, and then you had local chains of transmission where those mosquitoes then bit other people, they got dengue fever, and so on and so on. 

In this case, dengue fever is not endemic in the Big Island, however, there was an outbreak due to an imported disease with the subsequent transmission.”

Definition of Endemic:
The term endemic refers to the constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infectious agent in a population within a geographic area. For example, chickenpox is considered endemic in the UK, but malaria is not.

After months of only referring to the coronavirus outbreak as an epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) Wednesday finally declared it a global pandemic.

Hyperendemic refers to the persistent, higher levels of disease prevalence in a particular place.

Definition of Outbreak:

The term ‘outbreak’ by definition means the same as an epidemic, but it is often used for a more limited geographic area. ‘Cluster’, on the other hand, refers to an aggregation of cases grouped in place and time that are suspected to be greater than the number expected.

AN OUTBREAK is a greater-than-anticipated raise in the number of endemic cases.

 Also, It can be a single case in a new area. If it’s not speedily controlled, an outbreak can become an epidemic.

Why call COVID-19 a pandemic now

After 118,000 positive cases of COVID-19 over 114 countries, it was clear that the virus has crossed the definition of an epidemic.

Illnesses are frequently considered pandemic when the disease-causing agents differ from strains at this time circulating among humans and have the ability to infect people easily.

Coronavirus has spread rapidly and no vaccines or treatment have been officially found yet. So, declaring it a global pandemic is of necessity to contain its spread.

What’s the difference between a pandemic, an epidemic, endemic, and an outbreak?

Not all words related to infectious disease are considered synonymous, but they are sometimes misused interchangeably.

The distinction between the words “pandemic,” “epidemic,” and “endemic” is regularly indistinct, even by medical experts. That is because each term’s meaning is dynamic, which evolves over time as illnesses become more or less widespread.

Although conversational usage of such terms does not require exact meanings, understanding the distinction is crucial to help you learn more news about public health and correct responses to public health.

Epidemic vs. Pandemic:

A pandemic is an epidemic that travels.

A simple way to know the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic is to memorize the “P” in the Pandemic, which means a pandemic has a passport.

Epidemic vs. Endemic

An epidemic is dynamically spreading; new cases of the disease significantly exceed what is expected. Broadly, it is used to describe any problem that’s out of control, such as “the opioid epidemic.”

An epidemic is often localized to a region, but the number of those infected in that region is considerably higher than normal.

For example, when COVID-19 was limited to Wuhan, China, it was an epidemic. The geological spread turned it into a pandemic.

On the other hand, Endemics are a constant presence in a specific location.

For example, Malaria is endemic to the parts of Africa. Ice is endemic to Antarctica.

Endemic vs. Outbreak

Moving a step forward will lead to an outbreak of an endemic and an outbreak will occur anywhere. The dengue fever outbreak in Hawaii last summer is a prime example.

Dengue fever is common in several parts of Africa, Central, South America, and the Caribbean. In these areas, mosquitoes bear dengue fever and pass it on from person to person.

But in 2019 there was an outbreak of dengue fever in Hawaii, where the disease is not endemic.

It was believed that an infected person visited the Big Island and was bitten by mosquitoes there. The insects then transferred the disease to the other individuals they bit, which created an outbreak.


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