Fears of the coronavirus are affecting the travel plans of over 46 million people worldwide and Chinese officials, where the outbreak started, are worried that the disease is spreading

China’s President Xi Jinping stressed the urgency of controlling the outbreak, which is confirmed to have infected hundreds just since Friday. The number of infected people, at the time of writing this article, has risen to more than 1,300; the number of confirmed deaths is 41.

The world has been getting better at identifying pandemics and stopping the spread of disease throughout the world. But it hasn’t always been that way. And even in the 20th century, certain outbreaks killed millions of people. 

But first…what is the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic? An epidemic is a disease that can affect many people but is generally confined to one area of the world. A pandemic is an epidemic that goes world-wide.