Epidemic vs Pandemic: How We Differentiate?

Epidemic vs Pandemic: How We Differentiate?


Not every disease can be explained with a single or similar term, they have their own impacts and origins.
Time to time varies to one-another, automatically changes their properties, and naturally turns into a hazardous infection.
There are basically four terms used to categorize disease over an area, Epidemic, Pandemic, Endemic, and An Outbreak.
You will be surprised to know that these terms don’t have a constant/clear definition even medical experts have blurred distinction of them, this is because definition, distinction, and categories depend upon disease itself. It changes as disease symptoms and properties changeless or more prevalent over time.
Before the COVID-19 situation, people never thought or discuss about an epidemic, pandemic, endemic, and an outbreak. But after the widespread effect of COVID-19 all over the world it becomes a trending topic to discuss on it.
So here we have a basic description to understand these words properly.

AN EPIDEMIC –It is a disease that spread among a community population or region and affects a large number of people. Eg Yellow Fever and cholera
A PANDEMIC –It is similar to Epidemic but it spreads to multiple continents or countries Eg. HIV / AIDS
ENDEMIC –It is a disease which belongs to a particular country or person
Eg. chickenpox
AN OUTBREAK –It cannot be controlled quickly and spreads rapidly, it’s a primary step of the epidemic.
Before categorizing any sickness in these four categories experts usually consider the following things.

  • No. of people affected by it?
  • How far has it spreads?
  • Is it a new disease?

How we can differentiate between EPIDEMIC VS PANDEMIC?


As we learned from definitions, the pandemic is similar to an epidemic.
1. The first and foremost difference I found is PANDEMIC can travel into other continents and countries whereas EPIDEMIC remains in a particular region only.
2. As compare to PANDEMIC, EPIDEMIC is less hazardous.
3. PANDEMIC is caused by direct contact with an infected person or by common carrier mosquito, housefly.
4. Whereas EPIDEMIC is caused by a couple of common factors including an increase in the amount of disease or appearance in a new location.


Bottom line
These terms are related to one another and it’s not easy to differentiate between them. But it depends upon the properties and causes of disease.

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