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# The number of people diagnosed as having a certain bacterial

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Manager
Joined: 08 Oct 2010
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The number of people diagnosed as having a certain bacterial [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2010, 01:59
00:00

Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

78% (02:38) correct 22% (01:32) wrong based on 9 sessions

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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.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
Manager
Joined: 06 Aug 2010
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Location: Boston
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Re: bacterial infections diagnosis puzzle [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2010, 08:56
C

feruz77 wrote:
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?

Less people have been diagnosed this year with this bacterial infection, and health officials claim it's entirely because of improved sanitary conditions are the water-treatment plants. To weaken that explanation, we need to find something that would show that some other factor has lead to less people being diagnosed with the infection.

(A) Many new water-treatment plants have been built in the last five years in the rural county. This doesn't affect their argument either way
(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. We don't care about people who already have been diagnosed with the infection, just people who were diagnosed this year
(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. Correct. This one shows another factor for people not being diagnosed with the infection - they actually have ulcers, and previously would have been diagnosed incorrectly with the infection. So the numbers in previous years were inflated by false positives.
(D) Because of medical advances this year, far fewer people who contract the bacterial infection will develop severe cases of the disease. Don't care about severe vs. non-severe cases
(E) The water in the rural county was brought up to the sanitary standards of the water in neighboring counties ten years ago. Don't care about neighboring counties
Manager
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Re: bacterial infections diagnosis puzzle [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2010, 00:39
C is the correct one...
Re: bacterial infections diagnosis puzzle   [#permalink] 21 Oct 2010, 00:39
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