As the new corona virus continues to spread around the world, the words epidemic and pandemic appear more frequently than usual in news. Although the terms are closely related, they do not refer to the same thing.
As the website of the Association for Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) explains, "an epidemic occurs when an infectious disease quickly spreads to many people." What precedes an epidemic is usually an outbreak or "sudden." Increase in the number of illnesses. ”An outbreak can affect a single community or multiple countries, but is much smaller than an epidemic.
If an epidemic cannot be contained and its scope is continually expanded, it may be used by public health officials Called a pandemic means that enough people in different regions of the world have been affected to be considered a global outbreak, in short, a pandemic is a global epidemic, infecting more people, causing more deaths, and having far-reaching social and economic impacts The spread of the Spanish influenza from 1
It gets a bit difficult here: There is no classified classification system for outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics. Based on the definitions above, it appears that current coronavirus disease, now called COVID-19, already falls into the pandemic category – according to a World Health Organization (WHO) map, there are 34 more than 80,000 confirmed cases in 34 countries and nearly 2700 people died of the disease. It is also beginning to affect travel, stock markets and the global economy as a whole. However, the WHO claims that while the situation has the potential to become a pandemic, it is still an epidemic for now.
"To be honest, it really is border semantics," Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said CNN earlier this month. "I think you could have people arguing over each end. Pandemics mean different things to different people. “