Epidemic vs. Pandemic

在流行病和传染病学领域最常见的三个词:endemic, epidemic, pandemic经常被媒体和个人混淆,本文旨在简要讲解这三者之间的区别,并普及一些近期英文媒体上常见的相关词汇。

  • Endemic 最简单,(of a disease or condition) regularly found among particular people or in a certain area;重点是:belonging or native to a particular people or country.
    准确的翻译是:地方病。例如某些地方由于水土问题导致的大脖子病,又如某个某个年龄段的少年儿童多发的chicken pox(水痘)或非洲某些地区流行的 malaria(疟疾)。
    *注:中国古代小说中经常出现的所谓“瘴气”的医学本质就是 malaria(疟疾)。
  • Epidemic – An epidemic occurs when a disease affects a greater number people than
    is usual for the locality or one that spreads to areas not usually
    associated with the disease.

    关键词是 spread.
    An epidemic refers to the, often sudden, rise in the number of cases of a particular disease above the normal endemic level.
  • Pandemic – When an epidemic spreads throughout the
    world; A pandemic is an epidemic of world-wide proportions.

    典型的例子是艾滋病,以及1918年的西班牙流感(Spanish influenza)。


Causative agent
Spanish Flu Influenza A virus 1918-1919 50 million Unlike seasonal flu, the young, fit and healthy were worst affected
The Great Plague Yersinia pestis Mid 1300s 75-200 million Got its alternative name “black death” thanks to the black patches that appeared on the skin of those infected
6th Cholera Pandemic Vibrio cholerae 1899-1923 800,000 Lessons learnt in earlier cholera pandemics meant the death toll was much lower than it otherwise might have been
Fiji Measles Pandemic Rubeola virus 1875 40,000 Fijian
royalty took the disease back to their island following a visit to
Australia where the disease was rife. Consequently, one-third of Fiji’s
population died
Smallpox Pandemic Variola virus 1870-1874 Over 500,000 Thought
to be triggered by the Franco-Prussian war, incidence and fatality
rates were notably lower in the UK attributed to the Vaccination Act of
Tuberculosis (TB) Mycobacterium tuberculosis Current 1.6 million in 2017 In 2017, 10 million people contracted TB. Multi-drug resistance remains a significant concern


究竟哪种疾病应该称为endemic, epidemic还是pandemic?这是流行病学/传染病学(Epidemiology)的工作,这个分类和定性称为“Disease Event Classification”.


  • The pattern and speed by which a disease moves (known as the reproduction rate) 疾病传播方式和速度
  • The size of the susceptible population (known as the critical community size) 易感人群数量


  • Sporadic 偶发性
  • Cluster 群组性,指发病人数多,但实际数量或成瘾尚不确定。例如化学工厂或核设施事故发生后,往往出现群组性癌症。
  • Endemic 地方病
  • Hyperendemic 超强地方病,指某一特定地区超高等级、顽固的疾病情况,例如非洲某些地区的艾滋病。
  • Epidemic 流行病。传染病以指数方式散布,感染人数较多就称为流行病。
  • Outbreak 爆发流行病 
  • Pandemic 全球流行病





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