The words endemic, epidemic and pandemic have been used interchangeable. However, they mean differently in denoting the extent of the spreading of infectious disease. Let’s take a look at their individual definitions and learn to use it precisely.
An endemic refers to the constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infectious agent in a population within a given geographic area. A good example of an endemic in South America and large parts of Africa is malaria. Malaria–by virtue of being an endemic—will always be found near South American and African populations.
An epidemic occurs when a disease spreads rapidly amongst a large number of people in a particular region or country, making everyone sick at the same time. An epidemic can be caused by a disease that is native to that region, but starts affecting an unusually large percentage of the population, or it can be caused by a disease that is new to a particular region.
A pandemic is an epidemic that spreads across multiple countries across the globe at the same point in time. It spreads across continents and endangers people on a global scale.