Disease

Difference Between Epidemic and Pandemic

Difference Between Epidemic and Pandemic

AN EPIDEMIC is a disease that affects a large number of people within a community, population, or region. A PANDEMIC is an epidemic that's spread over multiple countries or continents.

  1. What is the definition of a pandemic?
  2. What is a disease outbreak?
  3. Can the coronavirus disease spread through feces?
  4. How dangerous is the coronavirus disease?
  5. Who is at risk for coronavirus?
  6. What is the incubation period of the coronavirus disease?
  7. Can flies transmit the coronavirus disease?

What is the definition of a pandemic?

A pandemic is defined as “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people”. The classical definition includes nothing about population immunity, virology or disease severity.

By this definition, pandemics can be said to occur annually in each of the temperate southern and northern hemispheres, given that seasonal epidemics cross international boundaries and affect a large number of people. However, seasonal epidemics are not considered pandemics.

What is a disease outbreak?

A disease outbreak is the occurrence of disease cases in excess of normal expectancy. The number of cases varies according to the disease-causing agent, and the size and type of previous and existing exposure to the agent.

Disease outbreaks are usually caused by an infection, transmitted through person-to-person contact, animal-to-person contact, or from the environment or other media. Outbreaks may also occur following exposure to chemicals or to radioactive materials.

Can the coronavirus disease spread through feces?

The risk of catching the COVID-19 virus from the faeces of an infected person appears to be low.

There is some evidence that the COVID-19 virus may lead to intestinal infection and be present in faeces. Approximately 2−10% of cases of confirmed COVID-19 disease presented with diarrhoea (2−4), and two studies detected COVID-19 viral RNA fragments in the faecal matter of COVID-19 patients (5,6).

However, to date only one study has cultured the COVID-19 virus from a single stool specimen (7). There have been no reports of faecal−oral transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

How dangerous is the coronavirus disease?

Although for most people COVID-19 causes only mild illness, it can make some people very ill. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre- existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes) appear to be more vulnerable.

Who is at risk for coronavirus?

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The virus that causes COVID-19 infects people of all ages. However, evidence to date suggests that two groups of people are at a higher risk of getting severe COVID-19 disease. These are older people (that is people over 60 years old); and those with underlying medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer). The risk of severe disease gradually increases with age starting from around 40 years. It's important that adults in this age range protect themselves and in turn protect others that may be more vulnerable.

WHO has issued advice for these two groups and for community support to ensure that they are protected from COVID-19 without being isolated, stigmatized, left in a position of increased vulnerability or unable to access basic provisions and social care.

What is the incubation period of the coronavirus disease?

The incubation period of COVID-19, which is the time between exposure to the virus and symptom onset, is on average 5-6 days, but can be as long as 14 days. Thus, quarantine should be in place for 14 days from the last exposure to a confirmed case.

Can flies transmit the coronavirus disease?

COVID-19 IS NOT transmitted through houseflies.

To date, there is no evidence or information to suggest that the COVID-19 virus transmitted through houseflies. The virus that cause COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.

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