Millions of people will be getting together on Sunday night to watch Super Bowl LII, but with the influenza virus covering the country, those hosting or attending a party should practice preventative measures.

Influenza related deaths have been show to increase significantly in the home counties of Super Bowl participating teams compared to non-competing counties. A study (Stoecker et al. 2015) of influenza mortality rates in Super Bowl-participating counties from 1979-2009, found there to be an 18% increase in influenza deaths in the ≥65 year-old-population. Effects are most pronounced in years when the dominant influenza strain is more virulent, or when the Super Bowl occurs closer to the peak of influenza season.

Reference:

Stoecker, C. Sanders, NJ. Barreca, A. Success is Something to Sneeze at: Influenza Mortality in Regions that Send Teams to the Super Bowl. Working Paper 1501. Tulane University, 2015.