By now, everyone knows COVID-19 is a pandemic, but do you know what makes it different from an epidemic? WebMD Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Whyte explains.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING] JOHN WHYTE: Coronavirus has been teaching us a lot about infectious disease and public health. But it's also teaching us a lot of new words. I'm going to help you talk coronavirus. It really is learning a new language.

What's the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic? An epidemic is a disease that affects a large number of people within a community, population, or region. A pandemic is an epidemic that has spread to multiple countries or continents across the world, really. A simple way to remember the difference is to think of the P in pandemic as a passport to travel. So in a way, a pandemic is a globe-trotting epidemic.

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