Both epidemics and pandemics are words that are used to describe the widespread of diseases.
What is an Epidemic?
An Epidemic is generally defined as the process of rapidly spreading of infectious diseases within a short period of time into a large number of people in a given population and spread over to several countries or continent.
An Epidemic is derived from a Greek word which refers to upon or above people.
Bubonic plague, Cholera, Influenza, SARSand Smallpox, are some of the common examples of Epidemics.
Also Refer: Symptoms of Various Diseases
What is Pandemic?
A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. A pandemic is a larger version of an epidemic. In other words, when an epidemic goes out of control, it is known as a pandemic. If an epidemic covers many countries spreading through continents, it is likely to be a pandemic. There are different types of pandemics.
HIV or AIDS is one of the best examples for the most destructive global pandemics in history.
The main causes of Epidemic and Pandemic are the pathogenic or harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses and other parasites that can spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another through the air, water, and other modes of transmissions.
Also Refer: Communicable and Non Communicable Diseases
Let us look at the differences between epidemic and pandemic given in a tabular column below to understand both these terms in-depth.
Epidemic vs Pandemic
|An epidemic is an outbreak of disease that affects many in a population and begins to spread rapidly.||Pandemic is a larger epidemic. A pandemic covers several countries or spreads from one continent to another.|
|An outbreak of disease is considered an epidemic if it affects a certain number of people within a short period of time, typically within 2 weeks.||In pandemic outbreaks, the number of people affected or killed doesn’t matter as much as the rate of spread and how far it has spread.|
|One of the few examples of epidemic diseases is the West African Ebola||A few examples of pandemic diseases are HIV AIDS, Asian Influenza and Cholera|
This was a brief introduction to Epidemic and Pandemics.
Learn more in detail about Epidemic and Pandemic and other related topics on infectious diseases @ Byju’s Biology