endemic vs epidemic : Common Errors in English

About endemic vs epidemic

“Endemic” is in danger of losing its core meaning through confusion with “epidemic.” An endemic condition is one characteristic of a particular region, population, or environment: “sore thumbs are endemic among teen text-messagers.” A condition need not affect a majority or even a very large number of people in a population to be endemic. In biology, an endemic disease is one that is maintained locally without the need for outside influence: “Cholera is endemic in Kolkata.” It keeps recurring there, but still only a small minority of the population gets cholera.An epidemic condition is widespread, rampant: “ Overindulgence in fatty foods is epidemic throughout the world.” The dominance of the noun “epidemic” (“the threat of a flu epidemic”) may make people reluctant to use it as an adjective (“flu may become epidemic”) but both uses are legitimate. It’s best to stick with “epidemic” unless you have a specific need for the technical term “endemic.”

endemic Meaning(s)

  • (n) a disease that is constantly present to a greater or lesser degree in people of a certain class or in people living in a particular location
  • (a) native to or confined to a certain region
  • (n) a plant that is native to a certain limited area
  • (a) of or relating to a disease (or anything resembling a disease) constantly present to greater or lesser extent in a particular locality
  • (s) originating where it is found

epidemic Meaning(s)

  • (n) a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease; many people are infected at the same time
  • (a) (especially of medicine) of disease or anything resembling a disease; attacking or affecting many individuals in a community or a population simultaneously

endemic in News

  1. Belgian Awful: Ambassador's Prostitute Excuse Won't Help State's Coverup Case

    The tabloid favorite amongst the brewing new State Department investigations isn't the alleged Baghdad drug-ring cover-up, or the alleged Honduras killings cover-up, or even the alleged cover-up of Hillary Clinton's security detail for an "endemic" solicitation of prostitutes. No, the sexiest of the Foggy Bottom probes — all of which State officials are trying to explain away — has to do with ...
    on June 12, 2013 Source: The Atlantic Wire via Yahoo! News

  2. State Dept. Dismisses Allegations of 'Endemic' Misconduct

    In the wake of a CBS News report of charges of wrongdoing at the State Dept., spokeswoman pledges full investigation; says any impropriety "hardly endemic"
    on June 11, 2013 Source: KTVA Anchorage

  3. Video: State Department spokeswoman: "Alleged" conduct issues not an "endemic" problem

    State Department spokeswomen Jennifer Psaki said there isn't an "endemic" problem with personnel while abroad when she spoke with reporters at a June 10 press conference.
    on June 11, 2013 Source: CBS News

epidemic in News

  1. N.Y.’s Schneiderman Announces Smartphone Anti-Theft Intiative

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an initiative to deter smartphone theft, decrying the “epidemic of violent street crime” involving the stealing of mobile devices.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Bloomberg

  2. USGA introduces "While We're Young" initiative

    ARDMORE, Pa. -- In response to golf's pace of play epidemic, the USGA has announced a unique, lighthearted initiative designed to raise awareness and inspire action toward speeding up play. Named appropriately after the famous line uttered by Rodney Dangerfield's character in Caddyshack, "While We're Young" was conceived to combat the four fundamental causes of slow play: player behavior, course ...
    on June 12, 2013 Source: GolfDigest.com via Yahoo! Sports

  3. Dyer: Time to solve 'epidemic of senior hunger' in Orlando

    Facing what AARP calls an "epidemic of senior hunger," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer issued a call to community and church leaders today to come to the aid of residents who have "fought for our freedom and raised our children."        
    on June 12, 2013 Source: Orlando Sentinel

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