The recent Ebola outbreak has freaked out many people in the last few months. This article seeks to bring some light on what the true facts about Ebola are. It gives the statistic that “According to the World Health Organization, “there is no specific treatment or vaccine,” and the fatality rate can be up to 90%.” so 9 out of 10 people who get Ebola die to it! The key words in that line is “can be”. Statistics are used as a numerical and factual way to draw truth out of a situation. When you say the fatality rate can be that high but don’t mention what the more common or average fatality rate it people are going to think that it the normal fatality rate. The article goes on to show how many people of different countries have gotten Ebola and how many have died from it.
Guinea – 1350 cases, 778 deaths (58%)
Liberia – 4076 cases, 2316 deaths (57%)
Nigeria – 20 cases, 8 deaths (40%)
Senegal – 1 case, 0 deaths (infection originated in Guinea) (0%)
Sierra Leone – 2950 cases, 930 deaths (32%)
Spain – 1 case, 0 deaths (0%)
United States – 1 case, 1 death (infection originated in Liberia) (100%)
The data here may not be perfect since some of the people who have Ebola may die from it at some point. Therefore these numbers may increase but at this point they are not near 90%. Also at this point couldn’t you also say the fatality rate in the United States is 100%? That sure would scare many people who don’t realize only one person has been infected and it originated in Liberia.
I disagree with the author of Five Ways Statistics are Used to Lie to You Every Day. He claims that our brains do not work with numbers and statistics. There are many people who find truth in numbers and their minds are wired in a way that these numbers clarify what is actually going on in the situation. Many people try to make the world into numbers and statistics.