A Minnesota man who attended the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally held last month in South Dakota, a gathering of more than 400,000 people, has died due to the coronavirus, NBC News reports.
The man, who has not been identified, was in his 60s and had been hospitalized in an intensive care unit before he died. His death is the first one traced to the event, which lasted for more than 10 days, and coincided with an uptick in coronavirus cases in the region.
"Any time you have a mass gathering of hundreds of thousands of people and then they return to their home states, you're going to increase the likelihood of a 'superspreader' event," said Victor Huber, a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of South Dakota.
Dr. Sadiya Khan, an epidemiologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, added the rally is not the only thing driving up coronavirus cases, citing "students returning to college and universities," as another cause.
Khan did note the rally appears to have acted as a "superspreader event," saying, "participants could have taken it home with them. Or they could have brought it with them there, and passed it on to people who brought it home with them and dispersed it nationally."
"We're really starting to see widespread community transmission in South Dakota," Huber said. "A large part of the economy is tourism, so we have had people coming into the state in greater numbers. We've also been returning students to in-person instruction, which is likely to play a factor."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.