Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Cells, Microbes & Viruses => Topic started by: Don_1 on 04/05/2009 14:51:22

Title: What is a 'Pandemic'?
Post by: Don_1 on 04/05/2009 14:51:22
The world is on the brink of a pandemic.

Swine Flu, or H1N1 as it is now more commonly referred to, threatens to kill millions of people around the world, or so the media would have us believe.

But is it the word 'pandemic' which has caused all this rumpus? A pandemic is more lethal and contagious than an epidemic. Well, at least that is the way it is being portrayed in the media. But a pandemic is an epidemic which has crossed international borders to infect people worldwide. The reason this happens is because humans now travel far & wide in a short space of time, not because the virus is any more dangerous. So is the word 'pandemic' worse than the virus?
Title: What is a 'Pandemic'?
Post by: dentstudent on 04/05/2009 15:12:40
I agree with you, Don. "Pandemic" has been misused to portray the strength of the virus rather than it's spread. This is media mis-representation and hyperbole rather than sense.

For those that know, I would rather have H2G2 anytime.
Title: What is a 'Pandemic'?
Post by: Don_1 on 05/05/2009 17:49:38
I could do with a J2O ( (
Title: What is a 'Pandemic'?
Post by: Jonathan Madriaga on 25/11/2009 22:47:42
In epidemiology, we define pandemic as a widespread, formally worldwide epidemic. Like your example in the case of H1N1. In contrast, an endemic is one that is always present but at a low incidence level.
Title: What is a 'Pandemic'?
Post by: chris on 25/11/2009 22:59:50
Strictly speaking, a pandemic is a global epidemic and the current definition is when disease burden exceeds 200 people per 100,000 population.

Title: What is a 'Pandemic'?
Post by: DrN on 07/12/2009 22:29:30
Does it have to infect a certain number of countries to be classified as global, and therefore as a pandemic?