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What's the Difference Between Pandemic and Endemic?

Words like pandemic, epidemic and endemic are all around us. But what do they mean exactly? Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth System Medical Director for Infectious Diseases explains what you need to know.  

COVID-19 is currently a pandemic – involving the whole world. The world is full of infection from SARS Coronavirus-2. A smaller scale pandemic, in a country or regional area, is an epidemic. This pandemic, with a viral infection, will eventually become endemic, which means there will always be a baseline activity of infection. It also means we may have hotspots where there is more infection, such as in the wintertime when we see increased rates of other viral respiratory infections.  

Want to learn more about common COVID-19 questions? Check our Fast Facts page. 

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