What is the difference between epidemic and pandemic?

The main difference between epidemic and pandemic is the extent to which they spread. An epidemic is a disease that spreads to large numbers of people in a given area over a short period of time. However, when it spreads to other regions or countries and affects even more people, we call it a pandemic.

The two terms epidemic and pandemic refer to diseases that affect many people. However, there is a distinct difference between epidemic and pandemic as a pandemic is larger.

Key areas covered

1. What is an epidemic - definition, characteristics 2. What is a pandemic - definition, characteristics 3. What is the difference between epidemic and pandemic - comparison of the main differences

key terms

Infectious disease, epidemic, pandemic Difference Between Epidemic and Pandemic - Comparative Summary

What is an epidemic?

An epidemic is the rapid spread of a disease to large numbers of people in a given population in a short period of time. Hence, we call a disease an epidemic when it spreads to a large number of people and captures them in a wide area. West African Ebola Virus (2013-2016) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003 are two examples of epidemics.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), an epidemic refers to “the occurrence of more cases of disease, injury, or other health condition than expected in a given area or group of people over a given period of time. As a rule, it is assumed that the cases have a common cause or are in some way related to one another. "

Key difference - epidemic vs. pandemic

Figure 1: Ebola epidemic in West Africa

An epidemic can be confined to one location; However, when it spreads to other regions or countries and affects large numbers of people, we call it a pandemic. Also, an epidemic doesn't have to be contagious. The term epidemic has also been used to describe West Nile fever and even obesity. In addition, the disease can be airborne, fecal-oral, arthropod , and so on.

What is a pandemic?

A pandemic is an endemic disease that affects a larger geographic area (multiple continents or even worldwide) and a large part of the population. There are a number of pandemic diseases that affect the whole world. To be classified as a pandemic, a disease must also be contagious or contagious. The black death that killed millions, HIV / AIDS, the 1918 Spanish flu, and 2019 coronavirus disease are some examples of pandemic diseases.

Difference Between Epidemic and Pandemic

Figure 2: COVID-19 outbreak. (Darker shades indicate a higher number of cases, while lighter shades indicate fewer cases) - Data as of March 24, 2020

Containment and containment are the basic strategies for fighting a pandemic. Containment involves tracing and isolating infected people, while containment measures are taken to slow the spread of the disease and its impact on the health system and society.

Difference Between Epidemic and Pandemic

definition

An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease that spreads rapidly and affects many people at the same time, while a pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a large geographic area and affects an extremely high proportion of the population.

Geographical area

While an epidemic is limited to a specific region or even a continent, a pandemic affects multiple continents or the whole world.

Type of illness

In addition, an epidemic is not necessarily a contagious disease, while pandemic diseases are always contagious.

Examples

West African Ebola virus (2013-2016) and SARS in 2003 are examples of endemic diseases, while Spanish flu of 1918 and coronavirus of 2019 are examples of pandemic diseases.

diploma

An epidemic is a disease that spreads to large numbers of people in a given area over a short period of time. However, when it spreads to other regions or countries and affects even more people, we call it a pandemic. Thus, the main difference between epidemic and pandemic is the extent to which they spread.

Reference:

1. "Epidemic". Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, March 23, 2020, available here . "Epidemics, Pandemics, and Infectious Disease Outbreaks." WebMD, May 18, 2019, available here .

Image courtesy:

1. "2014 West Africa Ebola Epidemic - New Cases Per Week" By Delphi234 - Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia 2. "COVID-19 Outbreak World Map per Capita" By Raphaël Dunant - Own work, data from 2019-20 Coronavirus Pandemic, List of Countries and Dependencies by Population and (NBC News) Coronavirus Map: The COVID-19 Virus Spreads Around the World (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the author: Hasa

Hasa holds a BA in English, French and Translation Studies. She is currently reading for a Masters in English. Her areas of interest include literature, language, linguistics and also food.