COVID-19 may become endemic

COVID-19 may become Endemic Disease – WHO

Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted that novel coronavirus (COVID-19) could become endemic to the world.

COVID-19 may become Endemic Disease – WHO

Top Current Affairs 27th May 2020

Source | Indian Express


GS Paper II: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.



COVID-19 may become endemic

Key Takeaways

  • WHO had earlier characterized the rapid spread of Covid-19 across the world has been as Pandemic.
  • Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted that novel coronavirus (COVID-19) could become endemic to the world.

Read More: Kangra Tea Lowers Coronavirus Activity


Context: Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted that novel coronavirus (COVID-19) could become endemic to the world.

  • WHO had earlier characterized the rapid spread of Covid-19 across the world has been as Pandemic.
  • Although India has made great efforts in containing the spread of the virus, the probability of its conversion into the category of endemic would be a great vulnerability.

What is an Endemic Disease?

A disease is called endemic when the presence or usual prevalence of its infectious agent is constant within a given geographical area or population group. When the cases begin to rise, it is classified as an epidemic. If this epidemic has been recorded in several countries and areas, it is called a pandemic.

  • Some examples of endemics include chicken pox and malaria, where there are a predictable number of cases every year in certain parts of the world.
  • As per World Health Organization, the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 may become just another endemic virus in communities, and may never go away.

Read More: Hydroxychloroquine and Frontline Workers



What you should know about “R0” figure and the Spread of the Disease?

  • The mathematical figure “R0”(pronounced “R-naught”) indicates how fast an infection is spreading.
  • It is called the basic reproduction number and indicates the average number of people who will contract the virus from a person who has already been infected, in a population that does not have immunity for the said disease.
  • For R0=1, the disease is said to be endemic.
  • For R0>1, it implies that the cases are increasing and that the disease will eventually become an epidemic.

What happens when a Disease Becomes Endemic?

When epidemics become endemic, they become “increasingly tolerated” and the responsibility of protecting against it shifts from the government to the individual. This means, rather than government agencies actively engaging in tracking and identifying cases, the individuals themselves will be responsible for managing risk from the disease and seeking care.

  • Also, the sociopolitical response to the disease may change, with investment in the disease becoming institutionalized along with the disease-inducing behavioural changes in people.

What are the different types of Endemic Diseases?

  • Holoendemic Diseases: This kind of endemic disease affects mostly children.
    • This infection is highly prevalent in the early years of life.
    • The adult population do not show traces of diseases as much as children do.
    • Malaria is a type of holoendemic disease.
  • Hyperendemic Diseases: These types of endemic diseases are constantly present at a high rate and are found among all age groups equally.
    • African Sleeping Sickness and Chicken Pox are categorized under hyperendemic diseases.

Also Read: WHO Executive Board | 147th Session



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