PANDEMIC “versus” EPIDEMIC: A Review


Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA


Is there a Difference? – Know the Difference!

A Pandemic (from Greek πᾶν pan “all” and δῆμος demos “people”) is an epidemic of disease that has spread across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide. A widespread endemic disease that is stable in terms of how many people are getting sick from it is not a pandemic.

Further, flu pandemics generally exclude recurrences of seasonal flu. Throughout history, there have been a number of pandemics, such as smallpox and tuberculosis. One of the most devastating pandemics was the Black Death, which killed an estimated 100 million people in the 14th century. Some recent pandemics include: HIV, Spanish flu, 2009 flu pandemic and H1N1.


An Epidemic is the rapid spread of infectious disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time, usually two weeks or less.

For example, in meningococcal infections, an attack rate in excess of 15 cases per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks is considered an epidemic.


Epidemic vs Pandemic | Technology Networks



Key Differences

  • Epidemics is the outbreak of the disease in a community while pandemic is the outbreak of the disease globally.
  • SARS was an epidemic while AIDS was an pandemic.
  • Pandemic disease has the same origin or source where so ever it gets spread while the same disease is spreading with different sources in each country, it refers to epidemic.
  • Epidemic when extending to greater levels becomes a pandemic.


ENDEMIC: If you translate it literally, endemic means “in the population.” It derives from the Greek endēmos, which joins en, meaning “in,” and dēmos, meaning “population.” “Endemic” is often used to characterize diseases that are generally found in a particular area; malaria, for example, is said to be endemic to tropical and subtropical regions. This use differs from that of the related word epidemic in that it indicates a more or less constant presence in a particular population or area rather than a sudden, severe outbreak within that region or group.

Conclusion: Your thoughts are appreciated.


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