The study found three possible reasons for the increase in flu deaths because of the Super Bowl:
1. “An increase in large gatherings increases the frequency of human contact and probability of transmission.”
2. “Postseason play alters travel patterns and increases the contact or mixing rate between possible susceptible and infected groups via fan mobility.”
3. “Postseason play may affect local economies in areas with participating teams, through increased tourism from outside or increased local expenditures. Changes in local income or employment rates may in turn influence behavior and health expenditures.”
But if you’re actually going to the Super Bowl itself, it’s all good: The researchers found that flu deaths did not spike in cities that hosted the game, mainly because it’s usually held in warm-weather cities where the flu isn’t as prevalent.
The researchers propose that anyone hosting a party remind guests to wash their hands and avoid sharing drinks or food during parties.