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# The number of people diagnosed as having a certain bacterial

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The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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23 May 2010, 01:17
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The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease has dropped significantly in a rural county this year, as compared to last year. Health officials attribute this decrease entirely to improved sanitary conditions at water-treatment plants, which made for cleaner water this year and thus reduced the incidence of the disease.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the health officials’ explanation for the lower incidence of the disease?

A. Many new water-treatment plants have been built in the last five years in the rural county.
B. Bottled spring water has not been consumed in significantly different quantities by people diagnosed as having the intestinal disease, as compared to people who did not contract the disease.
C. Because of a new diagnostic technique, many people who until this year would have been diagnosed as having the intestinal disease are now correctly diagnosed as suffering from intestinal ulcers.
D. Because of medical advances this year, far fewer people who contract the intestinal disease will develop severe cases of the disease.
E. The water in the rural county was brought up to the sanitary standards of the water in neighboring counties ten years ago.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
As per OG, the correct ans choice is (C). But I think ans choice (B) weighs above (C).

OG rules out choice (B) simply because it says bottled water has been consumed in approximately same quantity by 2 classes of people; those who were diagnosed and those who were not.
Bottled water(pure water) can be considered as the best improvement of sanitary conditions at water-treatment plants. So this means the perfect improvement of sanitary conditions exposed to the two classes of people in roughly equal amount still drops the number of diagnosed people significantly. This clearly conveys that sanitary condition improvement is NOT a factor in this drop, which definitely contradicts the conclusion.

Choice (C) offers an alternate explaination (new technique proving old diagnoses wrong) for the reduction in diagnoses.

So why not choice (B), which directly contradicts the conclusion, is a better choice than choice (C), which gives an alternate explaination?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by abhimahna on 17 Aug 2017, 08:37, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question and added OA.

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The number of people diagnosed as having a certain bacterial [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2010, 01:57
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The number of people diagnosed as having a certain bacterial infection has dropped significantly in a rural county this year, as compared to last year. Health officials attribute this decrease entirely to improved sanitary conditions at water-treatment plants, which made for cleaner water this year and thus reduced the incidence of the disease.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the health officials’ explanation for the lower incidence of the disease?

(A) Many new water-treatment plants have been built in the last five years in the rural county.
(B) Bottled spring water has not been consumed in significantly different quantities by people diagnosed as having the bacterial infection as compared to people who did not contract the disease.
(C) Because of a new diagnostic technique, many people who until this year would have been diagnosed as having the bacterial infection are now correctly diagnosed as suffering from intestinal ulcers.
(D) Because of medical advances this year, far fewer people who contract the bacterial infection will develop severe cases of the disease.
(E) The water in the rural county was brought up to the sanitary standards of the water in neighboring counties ten years ago.

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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestina [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2012, 01:44
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Lock this topic because of poor reading and searching skill before posting

og-11-q-94668.html
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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2014, 08:28
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Hi,

While answering this question, I initially thought E was the answer. But after careful inspection 'E' clearly seems to be wrong.
E says 'The water in the rural county was brought up to the sanitary standards of the water in neighboring counties
ten years ago'.

The original stimulus says that Health officials mentioned the reason as improved sanitary
conditions . They clearly meant that the condition improved from last year.. ( this year sanitary condition >> last year sanitary condition)

But option E says the sanitary condition in rural county improved 10 years back. It may mean that this year sanitary condition = last year sanitary condition. This is giving unclear explanation.

Also, according to E, if sanitary conditions in rural county have really increased, then this statement is actually strengthening the health officials point instead of weakening.

Moreover, according to E, the sanitary conditions in neighboring counties might themselves have been inadequate ....

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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain bacterial [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2014, 12:16
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IMO c... A option was a bugger.. but u can eliminate it by using the keyword "NEW water ...." its talking about new. While in the stimulus nothing is mentioned about NEW. Took me almost 3 min to eliminate option A.
Tip: When ur stuck with two options, dont try to think which one is better but try to think which one is wrong. Find that small clue that changes the entire picture.

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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain bacterial [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2014, 12:47
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rishabhmudgal wrote:
IMO c... A option was a bugger.. but u can eliminate it by using the keyword "NEW water ...." its talking about new. While in the stimulus nothing is mentioned about NEW. Took me almost 3 min to eliminate option A.
Tip: When ur stuck with two options, dont try to think which one is better but try to think which one is wrong. Find that small clue that changes the entire picture.

Always keep a careful eye for the scope of the question and each answer--that will let you eliminate tempting traps without losing time on the clock. In this case, notice how the events discussed in the prompt are "this year...compared to last year." That makes it unlikely that an answer covering all of "the last five years" will provide a satisfactory weakener.

Hope this helps!

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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2017, 11:21
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Expert's post
longhaul123 wrote:
Even after going through all the explanations i am still not understanding why B must not the answer. Because option B says that the Bottled spring water that is from the water treatment plant is doing nothing to the people diagnosed with the disease and for people who have not contracted such disease. So this statement says that the water treatment plant does nothing to reduce the intestinal disorder and hence weakens the official's conclusion.
But where as the option C talks about the new diagnostic technique which is not even present in the argument. So i choose option B. Can some expert mikemcgarry GMATNinja please shed some light on this . Thank you

Dear longhaul123,

I see that abhimahna answered your question, but I am going to add a few thoughts as well.

Here's (B)
B. Bottled spring water has not been consumed in significantly different quantities by people diagnosed as having the intestinal disease, as compared to people who did not contract the disease.
First of all, the wording is very tricky. What it is saying is that:
People with the intestinal disease didn't drink a lot of bottled water.
People without the intestinal disease drank a lot of bottled water
.

Also, notice how you changed the logic. You spoke of "Bottled spring water that is from the water treatment plant." My friend, with all due respect, this is a major misunderstanding. This is an example of the real-world experience you need to answer GMAT CR questions. Water that comes from a water-treatment plant is NOT spring water. Also, by its very nature, a water-treatment plant is not a bottling facility: nothing is bottled there. A spring is a place where water flows up naturally from the ground: many times, this is some of the purest water one could possibly drink. Many companies (Arrowhead, Volvic, Iceland, Alhambra, Poland Springs, Crystal Geyser, etc.) bottle spring water in plastic bottles, and these plastic bottles of water are available to consumers. This is a very different source of water than the water that comes out of the tap. Water from a water-treatment facility would be water out of the tap in people's house. Some people don't trust tap water, so they go to the store to buy bottled spring water. Other people point out that tap water is held to strict standards and bottled water isn't; also, the plastic bottles aren't healthy because they leech chemicals into the water. This has been a major debate in the USA for several years.

In order to do well on the GMAT CR, you need to read the news and be aware of issues in the real world. See:
GMAT Critical Reasoning and Outside Knowledge

Thus, what we learn is that the people who were drinking tap water, the water that had come from the water-treatment facility, got the intestinal disease, but the folks who avoided tap water and instead bought & drank bottled spring water did not get the disease. Thus, the source of the disease originated in the water-treatment plant. This would be a strengthener when you understand what it is saying. It's very typical for a strengthener to be a trap answer for a weakener question.

Here's (C)
(C) Because of a new diagnostic technique, many people who until this year would have been diagnosed as having the intestinal disease are now correctly diagnosed as suffering from intestinal ulcers.

This "new diagnostic technique" corrected diagnoses.

Last year, a large number of people were diagnosed with this intestinal disease. That's part of the evidence. What is not discussed, though, in the prompt is whether they were diagnosed correctly. That was before the "new diagnostic technique." (C) tells us that before this "new diagnostic technique," people were misdiagnosed with the intestinal disease. Thus, it could be that the high number of diagnoses of the intestinal disease was due, in part, to a large number of misdiagnoses, people who actually had intestinal ulcers, but the medical technology available at the time incorrectly ascribed their symptoms to the intestinal disease.

This also would explain why, when the "new diagnostic technique" was introduced this year, why the number of diagnoses of the intestinal disease was lower this year--with the new procedure, there was no confusion. The people suffering from intestinal ulcers were no longer misdiagnosed as having the intestinal disease.

This is a truly brilliant OA. It's not that the actual number of cases of the intestinal disease decreased at all. Instead, the drop was due to a correction of a measurement error: other diseased were being misdiagnosed as the intestinal disease, inflating the number of those cases, so when all the diagnoses were corrected, the low number of cases of the intestinal disease was more in line with reality.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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23 May 2010, 04:29
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Option B - talks about bottled water not the the improved sanity conditions at water treatment plant
In GMAT we can assume anything (even a tiny thing). only facts from premise(s) can be taken and bottled water is not mentioned in any premise. Hence, this is irrelevant.

Option C - says even after improving sanity condition at water treatment plant, intestenial disease remians in one or another form. This directly attacks the conclusion.
Hence this is the correct answer

Whether its a weaken or strengthen question, do not assume anything outside what is mentioned in the premise.

Hope this helps
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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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25 May 2010, 18:31
C it is.

Health official says that the number of people diagnosed of certain intestinal disease has dropped sigficantly this year. The official concludes that the drop in disease is because of better sanitation at water treatment plants.

We have to weaken the arguument.......meaning we have to find somthing which will prove that the drop in disease is not because of better sanitation but because of something else....option (C) does that.

C says....Because of a new diagnostic technique, many people who until this year would have been diagnosed as
having the intestinal disease are now correctly diagnosed as suffering from intestinal ulcers....so the drop in disease is because of new diagnostic technique.

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Re: bacterial infections diagnosis puzzle [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2010, 12:33
Straight C.

This is because C provides an alternate reason for why lesser people are diagnosed with certain bacterial infection this year, compared to last year.
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Re: bacterial infections diagnosis puzzle [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2010, 17:13
C.

But B is tricky to eliminate. Good question.

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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2011, 09:24
c hurts the conclusion maximum. therefore C , had C not been there i would have considered B
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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2012, 23:58
seekmba wrote:
C it is.

Health official says that the number of people diagnosed of certain intestinal disease has dropped sigficantly this year. The official concludes that the drop in disease is because of better sanitation at water treatment plants.

We have to weaken the arguument.......meaning we have to find somthing which will prove that the drop in disease is not because of better sanitation but because of something else....option (C) does that.

C says....Because of a new diagnostic technique, many people who until this year would have been diagnosed as
having the intestinal disease are now correctly diagnosed as suffering from intestinal ulcers....so the drop in disease is because of new diagnostic technique.

I didn't choose C because I think intestinal ulcer is an intestinal disease, is it not?

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The number of people diagnosed as having a certain [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2012, 19:49
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The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease has dropped significantly in a rural county this year, as compared to last year. Health officials attribute this decrease entirely to improved sanitary conditions at water-treatment plants, which made for cleaner water this year and thus reduced the incidence of disease.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the health official's explanation for the lower incidence of the disease?

A.Many new water-treatment plants have been built in the last five years in the rural county.
B.Bottled spring water has not been consumed in significantly different quantities by people diagnosed as having the intestinal disease, as compared to people who did not contract the disease.
C.Because of new diagnostic technique, many people who until this year would have been diagnosed as having the intestinal disease are now correctly diagnosed as suffering from intestinal ulcers.
D. Because of medical advances this year, far fewer people who contracted the intestinal disease will develop severe cases of the disease.
E.The water in the rural county was brought up to the sanitary standards of the water in the neighboring counties ten years ago.

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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2012, 07:57
WHY E is wrong? E said that the condition is already good and the low rate is not caused by improvement. E is also wakening.
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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2012, 08:20
Hi Thang,

I think E is wrong because the argument only deals with the one country.

So we need to look at the reasons for a change in that one country.

Whether that one country is comparatively advanced/behind compared to other countries will not affect the weakness of the argument which is about one country only.

Does that help?

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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2013, 03:29
C requires an assumption which is that the total of person condidered deaseased and diagnosed as deaseased is the same.

e gmat make a posting , saying that this situation in which weakener requires an assumption happens in og. e gmat experts also cite the relevant question in og. the relevant posting of e gmat is recent.

is my thinking correct?
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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain bacterial [#permalink]

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17 Mar 2015, 18:34
Explanation for choice C

Type: weaken

Conclusion: cleaner water => reduce incidence of disease

Assumption: cleaner water is the only reason

Weaken: there are other explanations for the drop in Bacterial infection. Choice C indicates one of these explanations

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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2015, 01:40

Can we select B in absence of C. I'd like to understand the effect of B here.

carcass, egmat and other moderators , if you can throw some light.

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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2015, 14:45
Steinbeck wrote:

Can we select B in absence of C. I'd like to understand the effect of B here.

carcass, egmat and other moderators , if you can throw some light.

I think that B strengthens the argument since B says that people still drink enough water and this eliminates alternative explanation (i.e drop in water consumption). And C gives alternative explanation. C says that reason is not better quality of water, it is right diagnostics.
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Re: The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease   [#permalink] 03 Sep 2015, 14:45

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