Difference‌ ‌Between‌ ‌Pandemic‌ ‌and‌ ‌Endemic‌ ‌

Difference between an endemic and a pandemic is illustrated in the article. In the field of epidemiology, pandemic and endemic are two interrelated terms which are fundamentally different from each other.

A pandemic is a spread of disease over a large region that covers entire nations or even continents affecting a substantial part of the population.

An infection is termed as an endemic when it is maintained in a population at a baseline level of the geographic area without the help of any external sources.

This article will further elaborate upon the two terms within the context of the civil services examination.

What is the Difference between Pandemic and Endemic?

Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic

The difference between a pandemic and endemic is given in the table below:

Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic



Pandemic is a term used to describe a situation when the spread of disease is global in nature Endemic is used to describe a disease that is present permanently in a specific region or a group of people
A pandemic spreads at a faster rate affecting large swathes of the population and is usually caused by new strains of a virus that has been dormant for many years An endemic disease is at times seasonal and spread of infection is dependent on factors such as geography and sanitation
The Spanish Flu of the early 20th century and the more recent COVID-19 are examples of a pandemic Malaria is an example of an endemic disease that is common in Africa and in certain regions of Asia
A widespread endemic disease with a stable number of infected people is not a pandemic Usually, in the event of an endemic spread, the number of infections is stable
A disease or condition is not a pandemic merely because it kills or infects many people; it must also be infectious and spread over a large area, specifically beyond the geographic confines of the original infected area An infection that starts as an epidemic will eventually either die out or reach the endemic steady state, depending on a number of factors, including the virulence of the disease and its mode of transmission.
Pandemic is derived from the Greek word “pan” meaning all and “demos” meaning people Endemic is derived from the Greek word “en” meaning in or within and “demos” meaning people

Pandemic and Endemic are covered extensively under the General Science segment of the IAS Exam. Aspirants can refer to the following links to learn more about this segment.

Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic: UPSC Notes – Download PDF Here

FAQ about Pandemic‌ ‌and‌ ‌Endemic‌ ‌

What are the examples of Endemic diseases?

Few examples of endemic diseases are Caribbean Dengue, Varicella, more commonly known as chickenpox in the UK, Malaria that is endemic to Africa and many others like these.

What are the significant features of Pandemic diseases?

It affects a wider geographical area, often global; infects a very large number of people; often caused by a new virus or a new strain of a virus that has been dormant for many years; proliferates quickly in humans as there is little to no existing immunity; capable of causing a high number of deaths; social disruption, unrest and economic loss in the society due to the control measures taken by the government to control the spread of the disease.

Aspirants can become familiar with the general pattern of the IAS exam by visiting the IAS Syllabus page. For more preparation materials they can refer to the links given in the table below:

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