Calculating your risk of death or hospitalization if you are infected with the coronavirus requires good data – notably, the total number of infections in the US. Unfortunately, that data is fuzzy.
Unvaccinated people are ten times more likely to contract COVID, and more likely to pass it on than vaccinated people.
Clinical trials are used to establish that medicines work. But these don’t take into account the genetic differences between us that can mean very different outcomes for different patients.
Shrewd media consumers think about these three statistical pitfalls that can be the difference between a world-changing announcement and misleading hype.
Often there is tendency to overreact to risk estimates, so it’s worth unpacking what these really mean.
Relative risk is the risk one group of people has of developing a cancer compared to the risk of another group.
There are several ways scientists can explain risks of cancer and other diseases; some are easier to understand than others.