Difference Between Outbreak, Epidemic and Pandemic

In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled. There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives. Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals. In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher. WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction. The World Health Organization declared a global pandemic as the coronavirus rapidly spreads across the world.

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What is an example of an outbreak?

Disease outbreaks. A disease outbreak is the occurrence of disease cases in excess of normal expectancy. … For example, Minamata disease is caused by exposure to mercury. Occasionally the cause of an outbreak is unknown, even after thorough investigation.

What qualifies as an epidemic?

Epidemic refers to an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in that population in that area. … Pandemic refers to an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.

What is an example of an endemic?

Endemic: A characteristic of a particular population, environment, or region. Examples of endemic diseases include chicken pox that occurs at a predictable rate among young school children in the United States and malaria in some areas of Africa.

What qualifies as a pandemic?

Declaring a pandemic has nothing to do with changes to the characteristics of a disease, but is instead associated with concerns over its geographic spread. According to the World Health Organization, a pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.

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