Tags: Cold/Flu | Super Bowl | celebrations | spread | flu | deaths

Super Bowl Celebrations Spread Flu: Study

Super Bowl Celebrations Spread Flu: Study
(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:46 PM


Your home team appearing in the Super Bowl is a cause for celebration, but residents of the Panthers' and Broncos' hometowns may want to take a little extra care with their health this flu season. A study at Tulane University found that fans in cities with teams in the Super Bowl have an increased risk of dying from flu.

After reviewing statistics from 1974-2009, researchers found that flu deaths rose 18 percent in flu deaths in those over the age of 65 in cities whose teams played in the Super Bowl.

The answer may be as simple as less-than-ideal hygiene at home Super Bowl parties.

"It's people that are staying at home and hosting small local gatherings that are actually passing influenza among themselves," says lead author Charles Stoecker of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Sneezing without covering your mouth and double-dipping chips are two common ways flu is spread at Super Bowl parties.

"Every year, we host these parties that we go to and it changes mixing patterns, and you are coughing and sneezing and sharing chips and dip with people that you often don't and so we get the influenza transmitted in novel ways that's then going to eventually wind up in the lungs of a 65-year old," says Stoecker.

Stoecker says flu is worse when the Super Bowl occurs close to the peak of flu season, or when a particular strain is more lethal. Fortunately, most experts believe this will be a mild flu season.

Researchers found no increase in flu deaths in cities where the Super Bowl is actually played. Stoecker says that's because the game is usually held in warmer locales where the environment is less favorable for transmission.

To reduce the odds of catching flu, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, use hand sanitizers, and get the flu shot.

In addition, Stoecker has a last bit of advice: Put a giant sign above the dip that says, "Scoop once."

The study was published in the American Journal of Health Economic.

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Your home team appearing in the Super Bowl is a cause for celebration, but residents of the Panthers' and Broncos' hometowns may want to take a little extra care with their health this flu season. A study at Tulane University found that fans in cities with teams in the...
Super Bowl, celebrations, spread, flu, deaths
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2016-46-02
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:46 PM
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