can become an epidemic when people of an area do not have either an acquired or an inherent immunity to the disease. True epidemics are caused by infectious agents. However outbreaks of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, are frequently also referred to as “epidemics.” Causes Disease-causing microorganisms can spread in several ways, such as from one person to another, from animals to humans, and from inanimate objects like contaminated water. If a disease is introduced

in a population by more than one means, it can spread rapidly, giving rise to an epidemic. Poor hygiene and sanitation as well as lack of proper healthcare facilities help in spreading the disease. Pandemic A pandemic is an infectious disease that affects large populations when an epidemic spreads across its geographical boundaries and begins to affect nearby regions. The word pandemic is derived from the Greek word pandemos , which means “pertaining to all people.” All pandemics are epidemics but not all epidemics can be called pandemics because they are confined to a particular area. What Makes a Disease Pandemic? A medical condition or disease cannot be called a pandemic just because it affects a large number of people around the world. The disease has to be infectious. For example, obesity and heart disease are very common around the globe and are sometimes referred to as “epidemics” by the media. But they are not infectious and so they don’t qualify as pandemics. According to the WHO, the outbreak of


Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker