Pertussis, a Defining Killer

Essay by jbenconnorCollege, UndergraduateA-, October 2014

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J. Ben Connor

Math 1565 - Statistics

Professor Traynor

June 2013

Pertussis, a Defining Killer

According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC 2013), "Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis." The disease is known as 'Whooping Cough' because of the sound infected individuals make struggling for breath after a violent fit of coughing. The CDC asserts that "the best way to protect against Pertussis is immunization" (para 1). I hope to show the correlation of this idea and show that it is of factual nature along with outliers of effect including affluence of the residing nation and population density of residence.

We will look at the cases of Pertussis worldwide using the sample year of 2008 and correlate the data next to the median income of those nations, noting that a positive correlation between the affluence of a nation and the life expectancy of its member population has already been proven.

Next, we will select at random one of the nations from the top, middle, and lowest of the median income and from the top, middle, and lowest of the cases of Pertussis. Then we will research the data on their most, median, and least populous cities and correlate that data to see if the population density is any sort of outlier or variable of effect to the results of our previous tests.

The data for these can best be shown using a scatter plot technique shown here in figure 1.1 (data from Lindgren, via gapminder).

Figure 1.1

Although this chart shows a small percentage of correlation, you may note that any nation reporting a yearly income of over 6,000 dollars per capita has less than one infant death due to Pertussis per every one...