Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic - Endemic vs Pandemic

By K Balaji|Updated : January 25th, 2023

The difference between pandemic and endemic is that pandemic refers to a disease that spreads over countries and continents, whereas an endemic 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 endemic can turn into a pandemic if not contained. Let us check the difference between pandemic and endemic in the sections below.

Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic PDF

People live in an ocean of bacteria and viruses. These viruses and bacteria spread infectious diseases that can spread in multiple ways. At times 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. It is also important to understand the Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic for categorizing infectious diseases.

Table of Content

Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic

The basic difference between pandemic and endemic is that 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.

The following table lists the major difference between pandemic and endemic based on various parameters.

Endemic vs Pandemic

Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic





Disease outbreaks in a country, continent or the entire world are known as pandemic.

Disease outbreaks in a specific region is known as endemic.


The sudden outbreak spreads globally.

It is found permanently present in a region or a population.


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

Derived from the Greek words, En means in, and demos means people.

Rate of Spread

Rapid rates and new cases appear every day.

Constant rate and spread are stable and get predictable over time.


COVID-19 outbreak

New Viral Strain

Caribbean Dengue

Chickenpox in the UK

Malaria in Africa


It can cause high numbers of death.

It does not cause very high numbers of death.


Social disruption

Economic Loss

Cases in communities

Individuals 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.

Pandemic and Endemic

A pandemic involves an even wider spread, frequently encompassing the entire globe. However, it is said to be endemic when a disease spreads persistently and frequently in a specific area or region. Here we have provided the difference between pandemic and endemic along with a brief introduction.

What is a Pandemic?

There are several differences between pandemic and endemic with respect to region, extent, and number of deaths. A pandemic is a kind of endemic 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.

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 Endemic and Pandemic.
  • The pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus claimed several lives worldwide, and several new variants are now causing diseases at different rates.

What is an Endemic?

An Endemic is an infectious disease outbreak in a limited region that spreads at a limited rate. An endemic disease can become a pandemic or endemic and vice versa. For example, cholera was an illness that was caused by the 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.


Key Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic

The key Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic is that Pandemic disease spreads over a big part that covers whole countries or even continents, impacting a significant portion of the population, whereas an Endemic infection occurs in a maintained population at a baseline level of the geographic location.

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FAQs on Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic

  • The difference between Pandemic and Endemic is based on the extent of disease spread. The disease spreads across countries, continents, and worldwide in a pandemic. In an endemic, the disease spreads within a region.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020 due to the endemic growth in the number of affected persons. The disease will become endemic if it isn't stopped from spreading and contained.

  • Epidemic vs Pandemic vs Endemic meaning is that an Epidemic is the quick spread of disease to a large number of people within an area in a short time, Pandemic can be seen at a global level with economic disruptions, while the Endemic affects individuals and their families or the people in the region.

  • The major 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.

  • Endemic refers to a characteristic specific to a population, environment, or geographic area. Examples of endemic diseases are chicken pox, which strikes young schoolchildren in the United States at a predictable rate, and malaria in some parts of Africa.

  • The difference between Pandemic and Endemic based on the number of deaths is that the deaths in a pandemic are higher in numbers compared to disease spread in an endemic. It is because Endemic disease outbreaks happen only in a specific region.

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