When coronavirus infections hit the world, we often hear some new terms.
What exactly is a pandemic? What’s the difference with an epidemic?
Epidemic Vs Pandemic Definition
What is an Epidemic?
An epidemic is an outbreak that spreads over a large geographical area.
Well, as the epidemic spreads more widely in different countries of the world, it can be referred to as a pandemic.
An event is called an epidemic when the number of people experiencing infection is higher than the number estimated in a country or part of a country.
What is Pandemic?
Pandemics are diseases that spread globally over a wide geographic area.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this pandemic has nothing to do with the severity of the disease, the number of casualties or infections.
However, pandemics are related to geographical spread.
The coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, is currently declared by the WHO as a pandemic.
Because, the disease is thought to have first appeared in Wuhan, China has spread to various countries of the world.
Pandemics are usually caused by new strains of viruses or subtypes that become easily transmitted among humans, or by bacteria that become resistant to antibiotic treatment. Sometimes, pandemics are caused only by a new ability to spread quickly, as in the case of the Black Death.
Epidemic vs pandemic examples
Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic (1793)
When yellow fever took hold of Philadelphia, the capital of the United States at the time, officials mistakenly believed the slaves were immune.
American polio epidemic (1916)
The polio epidemic that began in New York City caused 27,000 cases and 6,000 deaths in the United States. The disease mainly affects children and sometimes leaves survivors with permanent disabilities.
The polio epidemic occurred sporadically in the United States until the Salk vaccine was developed in 1954.
When such vaccines are widely available, cases in the United States decrease. The last polio case in the United States reported in 1979.
Vaccination efforts around the world have greatly reduced the disease, although it has not been completely eradicated.
Pandemic Flu (1889-1890)
In the modern industrial era, new transportation networks make it easier for influenza viruses cause chaos.
In just a few months, the disease spread around the world, killing 1 million people. It only took five weeks for the epidemic to reach the peak of death.
The earliest cases were reported in Russia. The virus spread rapidly throughout St. Petersburg was before quickly spreading throughout Europe and around the world, despite the fact that air travel does not yet exist.
Spanish Flu (1918-1920)
Many people experienced Spanish Flu during World War I.
Although named Spanish Flu, the disease is unlikely to begin in Spain. Spain was a neutral country during the war and did not impose strict censorship on its press, which could therefore freely publish initial reports of the disease.
As a result, people wrongly believe that the disease is specific to Spain, and the name was Spanish Flu.
Thank you very much for reading Epidemic vs Pandemic: Definition, and Examples, hopefully useful.