An endemic disease is a disease that is always present in a population, e.g. chickenpox, malaria, etc. Endemic diseases are relatively rare and not as widespread as an epidemic. It is always prevalent in the population that lives in that area. These areas contain viruses, bacteria or parasites which can transmit diseases to humans. There are two types of endemic diseases:
- Holoendemic Diseases- This kind of endemic disease affects most individuals in a population. This infection is highly prevalent in the early years of life. The adult population do not show traces of diseases as much as children do. Malaria is a type of holoendemic disease.
- Hyperendemic Diseases- These types of endemic diseases are constantly present at a high rate and are found among all age groups equally.
Also read: Infectious Diseases
Examples of Endemic Diseases
About 7.6 million people are infected with Chagas disease. It is caused by a protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi. This disease is endemic to Mexico, and South and Central America. Chagas disease is divided into acute phase, asymptomatic intermediate phase and chronic phase.
Malaria is an endemic disease prevalent in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. It is transmitted by a protozoan parasite from the Plasmodium genus. They destroy the red blood cells in the spleen and liver. This causes anaemia in the patients and can prove fatal if left untreated. According to recent research, 200 to 500 million people suffer from malaria every year out of which 1.5 to 2.7 million do not survive.
African Sleeping Sickness
This disease is caused by a protozoan parasite belonging to two different species of the Trypanosoma genus. This disease is prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa. It causes fever, joint pain, sweating, and headaches. Slowly the parasite invades the central nervous system and causes a disturbance in the sleep cycle, poor coordination and confusion. Endemic diseases are often confused with epidemic diseases. An epidemic is a sudden outbreak of a disease, however, the endemic disease is constantly prevalent in a particular geographical area.
Also read: Epidemic And Pandemic Diseases