Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 11, 2022, 11:56

People live in an ocean of bacteria and viruses. These viruses and bacteria spread infectious diseases that can spread in multiple ways. At times the infectious diseases break the threshold and spread across the country or can have a global impact.

This spread of infectious diseases is classified using terminologies like pandemic, endemic, and epidemic. Epidemic refers to a condition where a disease affects many people at one time and spreads from person to person in places where it is not common. An epidemic can turn into a pandemic if not contained.

It is also important to understand the Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic for categorizing infectious diseases.

COVID-19 Pandemic

As our world faces one of the most detrimental pandemics of COVID-19, many people are intrigued to Know the Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic. The pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus claimed several lives around the world, and several new variants are now causing diseases at different rates.

Let's understand the Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic.

What are Pandemic and Endemic?

There are a number of differences between a pandemic and an endemic with respect to region, extent, and number of deaths. A pandemic is a kind of epidemic where the infectious disease gets spread to a large area like a country, continent, or the entire world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a pandemic as the spread of a new infectious disease in the entire world. The number of infectious disease cases exponentially grows during a pandemic.

On the other hand, endemic is the outbreak of an infectious disease in a limited region that spreads at a limited rate.

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Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic

The following table lists the major Differences Between Pandemic and Endemic -

Type of Outbreak

Pandemic

Endemic

Definition

Disease outbreaks in a country, continent, or the entire world

Disease outbreaks in a specific region

Permanency

The sudden outbreak which spreads globally

Found permanently present in a region or a population

Derivation

Derived from Greek words pan means all and demos means people.

Derived from Greek words en means in and demos means people

Rate of Spread

Rapid rate

New cases appear every day

Constant rate

Spread is stable and gets predictable over time

Example

COVID-19 outbreak

New Viral Strain

Caribbean Dengue

Chickenpox in the UK

Malaria in Africa

Deaths

Can cause high numbers of death

Does not cause very high numbers of death

Consequences

Social disruption

Economic Loss

Cases in communities

Individual and family suffering

Contact with Wild Animals

Hunting and eating wild animals can lead to the spread of viruses from the wild animals

No such connection is observed

Prediction of Spread

Difficult to predict

Spread can be predicted over time

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An endemic disease can become a pandemic or epidemic and vice versa. For example, cholera was an illness that was caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacteria, Vibrio cholera. The disease originated in India, but the outbreak spread globally. In several regions, cholera is now endemic. The terms epidemic, pandemic, and endemic are used by scientists worldwide to categorize the spread of infectious diseases.

The basic Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic is that the infectious disease spreads across countries, continents, and the entire world in a pandemic. On the other hand, the disease is spread only within one region and is endemic.

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FAQs on the Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic

Q.1. Is there a Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic with respect to the extent of disease spread?

Yes, there is a Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic with respect to the extent of disease spread. In a pandemic, the disease spreads across countries, continents, and around the world. In an endemic, the disease spreads within a region.

Q.2. What is the Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic in terms of the number of deaths?

The Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic in terms of the number of deaths is that the deaths in a pandemic are higher in numbers compared to disease spread in an endemic.

Q.3. Is there a Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic with reference to consequences that people or nations have to deal with?

Yes. There is a Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic with reference to consequences that people or nations have to deal with. The consequences of a pandemic can be seen at a global level with economic disruptions, while the endemic affects the individuals and their families or the people in the region.

Q.4. What is the primary Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic, and can an endemic become a pandemic?

The Main Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic is that the pandemic outbreak is sudden and can spread across countries, continents, and the world, while an endemic outbreak only spreads in a specific region and can become predictable over time. An endemic can turn into a pandemic if not monitored or contained.