fatality rate

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A term often used loosely and incorrectly by the media to describe the number of deaths observed in a designated group of people, such as the victims of a natural disaster in which the deaths occur simultaneously or close together in time. It is seldom a rate in the true sense of the word because there may be no clearly defined denominator or time dimension, and for this reason use of the term fatality rate (rather than fatality ratio) should be discouraged. Contrast the precise term case fatality rate.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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