Explained: What is a pandemic?


There is no fixed number of cases or deaths that determines when an epidemic becomes a pandemic.

In the past two weeks, cases outside China have increased thirteenfold and infected countries have tripled.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the outbreak of COVID- was a pandemic.


What is a pandemic?

Fr Simply put, a pandemic is a measure of the spread of a disease. When a new disease spreads over a large geographical area spanning several countries and continents and most people do not have immunity to it, the outbreak is called a pandemic. This implies a higher level of concern than an epidemic, which the US Centers of Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) defines as the spread of a disease in a localized area or country.

There is no fixed number of cases or deaths that determines when an outbreak becomes a pandemic. The Ebola virus, which killed thousands in West Africa, is an epidemic because it has not yet marked its presence on other continents. Other outbreaks caused by coronaviruses such as MERS (2009) and SARS (2002), which spread respectively in 26 and 26 countries, were not qualified as pandemics because they were eventually contained.



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Which outbreaks have been declared pandemics in the past?

A major example is the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, who killed between 20 and 50 millions of people. Cholera pandemics have been declared on several occasions between 1817 and 2002. In 1817, a pandemic was declared for H3N2 which caused approximately one million deaths. The last pandemic declared by the WHO dates back to 2009, for H1N1.


Why has the WHO declared a pandemic of COVID-?

China announced the outbreak on 31 December and declared a public health emergency on 30 January. The WHO waited 81 days before declaring it a pandemic. The outbreak has so far been mainly confined to China, which has taken strict countermeasures.


lil durk networth During the last two weeks, the cases outside China have increased thirteenfold and infected countries have tripled. Italy, for example, had 1817 cases on 30 February, which increased to 4 888 In a week. We expect to see the number of countries affected, the number of cases and the number of deaths increase in the coming days, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom said.

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Does the declaration change the approach to the disease?

Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the risk of death posed by the virus, it does not change what WHO is doing, and it does not does not change what countries do, the WHO said.

However, many experts believe that categorization as a pandemic may attract more government attention. The categorization by WHO indicates the risk of disease for countries to take preventive measures. It will help improve funding for international organizations to fight the coronavirus. In India, we are already doing everything possible and additional government funding is not needed at this stage. said Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director of the Indian Council of Medical Research.


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