India might be entering the endemic stage of the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), chief scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr Soumya Swaminathan said on Wednesday. The senior official said this particular stage will be marked by low or moderate levels of transmission, with no peak or exponential growth as witnessed during the second wave that had wreaked havoc in the country.
“We may be entering some kind of stage of endemicity where there is low level transmission or moderate level transmission going on but we are not seeing the kinds of exponential growth and peaks that we saw a few months ago,” Swaminathan said in an interview.
The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines an endemic as “the constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infectious agent in a population within a geographic area”.
In other words, a population slowly learns to live with the disease. An endemic is the observed level of a disease and never the desired level, since desired level of any disease will always be zero. When the disease rises above expected levels, it becomes an epidemic or an outbreak, and when the epidemic spreads to several countries it becomes a pandemic.