COVID-19: What is the difference between epidemic, endemic and epidemic?

COVID-19: What is the difference between epidemic, endemic and epidemic?

Within two years, COVID-19 had turned from an epidemic to a pandemic. Could it become endemic? “With increased immunity in the population – and with Omicron there will be a lot of natural immunity in addition to vaccination – we will move quickly towards a scenario closer to endemicity,” said Marco Cavalieri, head of the vaccine, last Tuesday. ). These three terms (endemic, epidemiological, and epidemiological) refer to specific facts, even if some diseases, such as influenza, can combine endemic and epidemiological characteristics.


According to the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF), settler It is considered “the usual continuation of an infectious and contagious disease in a particular area. The disease is spread there permanently or latent and affects a large part of the population. We talk about an endemic disease when the presence of the disease is known, and reported, but this does not mean that the latter is progressing or that it is spreading.” Examples of diseases that are described as endemic? Malaria, in many African countries, and hepatitis C in Thailand, cites the site.


Still according to the OQLF, Epidemic “Rather it refers to the increase and rapid spread of infectious and infectious diseases in a particular area.” Futura Sciences states that the epidemic can also be considered an “increase in endemic disease.” We can even speak of an “endemic epidemic,” described by Larousse as “endemic of an infectious disease during which outbreaks of epidemics occur.”

Seasonal influenza responds fairly well to this definition because in countries with temperate climates, epidemics occur in a short and rapid manner, especially during the winter season. In the tropics, influenza can appear year-round, with more irregular outbreaks, reports the World Health Organization.


about the word Epidemic, the period we are currently going through, Quebec French parents define it as “an epidemic that extends beyond the borders of countries and can spread to a continent, hemisphere or the whole world, and therefore is able to touch millions of people when they are not immune or when they are not There is medicine to treat them.”

Covid-19 has met that definition well until then. But with the strengthening of vaccination coverage, the arrival of treatments and the spread of Omicron, a drug that enhances the natural immunity of the population, it appears that COVID-19 is leaving that description a little closer to endemic, or even the status of an endemic disease. In particular by its ability to spread throughout the year: covid-19 has shown that it can generate more or less powerful waves in all seasons. To be confirmed in the next few years. Unfortunately, the arrival of a new variant that escapes immunity and treatment could put COVID-19 back in the pandemic box…

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