One expects, intuitively, that the total damage caused by an epidemic increases, in a certain sense, with the infection intensity exerted by the infectives during their lifelength. The original object of the present work is to make precise in which probabilistic terms such a statement does indeed hold true, when the spread of the disease is described by a collective Reed–Frost model and the global cost is represented by the final size and severity. Surprisingly, this problem leads us to introduce an order relation for -valued random variables, unusual in the literature, based on the descending factorial moments. Further applications of the ordering occur when comparing certain sampling procedures through the number of un-sampled individuals. In particular, it is used to reinforce slightly comparison results obtained earlier for two such samplings.