With the whole world in the grip of the dreaded coronavirus, it’s important to be informed about just what is going on. The world has seen different forms of global diseases manifest itself, and referring to it by the correct term can go a long way. At the basic level, an epidemic is defined as ‘a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time’. Taking that forward, here are some terms you might find flying around.

1. Pandemic

A pandemic refers to a global epidemic that has spread to many countries and continents, thereby affecting a huge number of people. It basically means the disease has spread to almost the entirety of the world. 

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2. Endemic

This means a disease or condition that is consistently and regularly found in a certain geographical location. It refers to viruses, bacteria and pathogens that exist in a certain place perpetually. An example of this would be chicken pox, which is present at a predictable rate among young school children at all times but in low frequency.

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3. Outbreak

This refers to the sudden occurrence of a disease where the number of cases exceeds that which was expected. However, these usually don’t go around the world as they are imported diseases. An example of this would be someone with dengue travelling to a place where it’s not endemic and getting bitten by mosquitoes, which would then carry the disease to other people in that area.

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Stay safe, stay informed!