Epidemic: what it is, how to fight and difference with endemic and pandemic

The epidemic can be defined as the occurrence of a disease in a region with a higher number of cases than is normally expected. Epidemics can be characterized as sudden onset diseases that spread quickly to the largest number of people.

To control the epidemic of an infectious disease, it is important that cases are reported to the health agency so that measures can be taken to prevent the disease from spreading to other locations. Some of the strategies that can be adopted to contain an epidemic is to avoid traveling and frequent closed environments and with a greater concentration of people, such as shopping malls, cinema and restaurants.

Epidemics are complicated when the disease gets out of control, spreading to other places or countries due to travel and travel by plane or lack of proper hygiene, becoming known as a pandemic, which is considered more serious due to the ease and speed of streaming.

How to fight an epidemic

The best way to fight an epidemic is to try to contain the virus and prevent it from spreading to others. Thus, the recommendations of the Health Institutions must be followed, which may vary according to the disease and its form of transmission.

Still, the main actions that must be done are:

  1. Inform the hospital or health service of any suspected case of infection by a disease;
  2. Inform the hospital when you have been in contact with someone who has developed a disease and avoid contact with healthy individuals until you confirm that you have not acquired the disease;
  3. Wash your hands before and after meals, after using the bathroom, after sneezing, coughing or touching your nose and whenever your hands are dirty;
  4. Wear gloves and masks whenever it is necessary to come into contact with someone else’s bodily secretions and / or wounds;
  5. Avoid touching common surfaces in public spaces, such as handrails, elevator buttons or door handles;

In addition, in order not to acquire the disease during an epidemic, it is important to avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital, health service, emergency room or pharmacies, as well as taking the vaccine against the disease, if any. However, some diseases, such as Ebola or Cholera, do not have vaccines capable of preventing the development of diseases and, in such cases, preventing contagion is the best way to prevent an epidemic. Learn how to avoid infectious diseases.

Quarantine during the epidemic

During an epidemic, quarantine is important to prevent the disease from spreading and reaching more people, giving rise to a pandemic. Quarantine corresponds to a public health measure in which healthy people who may have been exposed to the infectious agent related to the epidemic are separated and monitored in order to check whether the disease develops.

This is because many of the people who live in the place considered the center of the epidemic, for example, may be carriers of the infectious agent and do not develop the disease, but they can easily transmit the infectious agent to other people, spreading the disease. Find out how long the quarantine lasts and how it is done.

Difference between endemic, epidemic and pandemic

Endemic, epidemic and pandemic are terms that describe the epidemiological situation of a given disease in a region or in the world. The term endemic refers to the frequency of a particular disease and usually describes a disease that is restricted to only one region and that is influenced by climatic, social, hygienic and biological factors. Endemic diseases are usually seasonal, that is, their frequency may vary according to the time of year. Understand what is endemic and what are the main endemic diseases. 

On the other hand, epidemic diseases are those that reach a greater proportion and that spread quickly regardless of the time of year. When an epidemic disease reaches other continents, it becomes a pandemic , in which the infectious disease spreads uncontrollably to several places, with difficult control.

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