I have just received word that Nicolis T. Williams, a student who was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis two days ago, has passed away. Please keep his family, friends, and the other students and faculty at Texas A&M University in your prayers during this difficult time.
According to LtGen Joseph Weber, Vice President for Student Affairs, bacterial meningitis (bact. men.) claims about 3,000 lives annually in the United States. Using a Poisson probability distribution (something I recently learned in my Statistics course), I was able to estimate the following statistics:
- bact. men. will claim one life at Texas A&M this year: 30.0%
- bact. men. will claim two lives at Texas A&M this year: 7.3%
- expected rate: one death every two years
These estimates are based on US pop. ≈ 307 million and TAMU pop. ≈ 50,000. Statistic 1 is a little unnerving, but as shown in Statistic 2, the probability for multiple deaths in one year decreases dramatically.