Epidemic vs. Pandemic
Epidemic and pandemic are words that are often confused. Let's take a look at their differences:
Epidemic (adj.) refers to a prevalent or widespread disease or other occurrence over a local area or cluster. Epidemics often occur in a place least likely for a particular disease to spread.
1. (Regarding disease)-"There is an epidemic of measles in parts of the United States that have never experienced this disease before."
2. (Regarding some other occurrence)-"The disregard for morals has reached epidemic proportions in this city full of crime."
Pandemic (adj.) refers to a disease or other entity prevalent over a large area, such as a country, a continent, or the world.
1. "Influenza is often expected to reach pandemic levels in North America."
2. "Mosquito-borne illnesses have reached pandemic proportions worldwide."
3. A pandemic species is one that inhabits an entire continent. Example: "The Monarch butterfly, once a pandemic species of Mexico, is now in danger of extinction due to climate change and increased pesticide use. "
*Hint/Tip: An epidemic occurs in a localized (smaller) area, and a pandemic occurs in a larger, more widespread area.
Let's use both epidemic and pandemic together in a sentence:
"Influenza has gone from epidemic to pandemic levels all throughout history."
Circle the Correct Answer:
1. Some believe that Lyme's disease is reaching epidemic / pandemic levels worldwide.
2. Parents in Philadelphia are being urged to vaccinate against chicken pox to prevent a recurrence of last year's pandemic / epidemic.
3. Which species of animal, overall, is epidemic / pandemic to Asia?
Answers: pandemic, epidemic, pandemic
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