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The city’s center for disease control reports

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The city’s center for disease control reports

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The city’s center for disease control reports that the rabies epidemic is more serious now than it was two years ago: two years ago less than 25 percent of the local raccoon population was infected, whereas today the infection has spread to more than 50 percent of the raccoon population. However, the newspaper reports that whereas two years ago 32 cases of rabid raccoons were confirmed during a 12-month period, in the past 12 months only 18 cases of rabid raccoons were confirmed.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent discrepancy between the two reports?

(A) The number of cases of rabies in wild animals other than raccoons has increased in the past 12 months.
(B) A significant proportion of the raccoon population succumbed to rabies in the year before last.
(C) The symptoms of distemper, another disease to which raccoons are susceptible, are virtually identical to those of rabies.
(D) Since the outbreak of the epidemic, raccoons, which are normally nocturnal, have increasingly been seen during daylight hours.
(E) The number of confirmed cases of rabid raccoons in neighboring cities has also decreased over the past year.

What is wrong with Option C?

OA B

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lheiannie07 wrote:
The city’s center for disease control reports that the rabies epidemic is more serious now than it was two years ago: two years ago less than 25 percent of the local raccoon population was infected, whereas today the infection has spread to more than 50 percent of the raccoon population. However, the newspaper reports that whereas two years ago 32 cases of rabid raccoons were confirmed during a 12-month period, in the past 12 months only 18 cases of rabid raccoons were confirmed.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent discrepancy between the two reports?

(A) The number of cases of rabies in wild animals other than raccoons has increased in the past 12 months.
(B) A significant proportion of the raccoon population succumbed to rabies in the year before last.
(C) The symptoms of distemper, another disease to which raccoons are susceptible, are virtually identical to those of rabies.
(D) Since the outbreak of the epidemic, raccoons, which are normally nocturnal, have increasingly been seen during daylight hours.
(E) The number of confirmed cases of rabid raccoons in neighboring cities has also decreased over the past year.

What is wrong with Option C?

OA B
We're trying to resolve the following paradox:
1) the percentage of raccoons infected with rabies has gone up
2) the number of rabid raccoons has gone down

What could account for this? Well, if there are fewer total raccoons, then even if a higher percentage of them are infected, the number of infections could have decreased. This is what B gives us.

C is wrong because even if the symptoms of rabies are similar to the symptoms of another disease, there's no logical reason to believe that the number of false negative diagnoses (animals diagnosed as not having rabies when they do have the disease) has gone up. Put another way, it's possible that rabies is hard to diagnose, but there's no evidence to suggest that the disease was harder to diagnose in the second year than the first.

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