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What’s the Difference Between an Epidemic and a Pandemic?
By Staff Writer

In the face of what is shaping out to be one of the most dangerous health events of this age – the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic – many people are searching for answers. In particular, a lot of people are wondering about the differences in terms such as epidemic vs pandemic, as well as the implications of the use of these terms for humanity as a whole. Although some form of coronavirus has been around for centuries, the latest outbreak is wreaking havoc and causing everyone to do their best to get informed. The following is a closer look at the meaning of epidemic vs pandemic, as well as the coronavirus and its causes.

Epidemic VS Pandemic

Are you wondering about what is the difference between epidemic and pandemic? The following is a breakdown of these concepts in layman’s terms. In terms of an epidemic vs pandemic, there are a few things to be aware of. First of all, an epidemic is defined as an outbreak of a disease that affects many individuals at once and spreads rapidly. Moreover, an outbreak is defined as a sudden, often unexpected escalation in the number of instances of a disease. An outbreak can occur in a particular community, geographical location, or across a multitude of countries.

On the other hand, a pandemic is a type of epidemic. However, when speaking in terms of a pandemic vs epidemic, the former term is used to describe a disease that affects an entire nation or even the world at large. Therefore, the difference between pandemic and epidemic is that while an epidemic may affect just one or a few areas, a pandemic affects the entire world.

When does an epidemic become a pandemic?

Now that we’ve gone over the difference between pandemic and epidemic, you may now be wondering when does an epidemic become a pandemic. Simply put, an epidemic becomes a pandemic when it has spread over a large geographical location and when it starts to affect a large percentage of the population overall. In other words, the difference in pandemics vs epidemics is that a pandemic is an epidemic that has affected either the vast majority of a country or the world. Pandemics affect a larger number of people, and they are often caused by new viruses or diseases that have not been in circulation for decades or even centuries. Another difference between epidemics vs pandemics is that a pandemic most humans have little to no immunity against the new disease. Pandemics are also known for causing more deaths as opposed to epidemics. Lastly, another major feature in an epidemic vs pandemic is that a pandemic often also results in things such as social disruption and/or economic loss.

What is the coronavirus in humans? 

Another major thing being discussed is the coronavirus, in particular, people are wondering what is coronavirus in humans. The coronavirus is actually a family of illnesses such as the common cold, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), and others. COVID-19 is the latest version of this class of illnesses and is said to have originated in China. The virus itself is known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which ultimately causes the disease known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

What causes coronavirus?

If you are wondering what causes coronavirus, that is a bit of a loaded question. Coronavirus was originally caused by humans coming into contact with infected animals. The original animal that caused the present outbreak remains unknown. However, it is now being passed from human to human. COVID-19 can be spread by coming into contact with bodily fluids. For instance, there are droplets expelled from the body when we cough without covering our mouths. Alternatively, it can also be caused by touching something that was touched by an infected person and then touching your own nose, mouth, or eyes.

What is the incubation period of coronavirus?

Lastly, you may also be wondering what is the incubation period of coronavirus. While this varies from person to person, studies of other illnesses within the coronavirus family suggests the incubation period is between 2 and 14 days.

Although these are trying times for people across the globe, the best thing any of us can do is stay informed. While there is no cure for coronavirus, the best thing you can do to prevent it is to practice social distancing as well as wash your hands regularly. If you believe you have been exposed to coronavirus, contact your doctor via telephone and isolate yourself to reduce the likelihood of spreading it to others.

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