Super Bowl Revelers May Be at Increased Risk of Being Tackled by the Flu


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.