So what’s an endemic disease anyway?

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    Martin Williams

      Much bandying about of the term “endemic”, re Covid; but what does this mean?

      Thread here seems useful; includes:

      //What is clear from even a cursory historical examination of the concept of endemicity is that there are cultural and political, and not always scientific reasons for labelling a disease endemic.//

      Also an article in Nature, includes:

      //As an evolutionary virologist, it frustrates me when policymakers invoke the word endemic as an excuse to do little or nothing. There’s more to global health policy than learning to live with endemic rotavirus, hepatitis C or measles.

      Stating that an infection will become endemic says nothing about how long it might take to reach stasis, what the case rates, morbidity levels or death rates will be or, crucially, how much of a population — and which sectors — will be susceptible. Nor does it suggest guaranteed stability: there can still be disruptive waves from endemic infections, as seen with the US measles outbreak in 2019. Health policies and individual behaviour will determine what form — out of many possibilities — endemic COVID-19 takes.//

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