Ah, Super Bowl parties. So much to look forward to, even when you're not a diehard football fan. All that yummy, cheesy food. The half-time show with super-star performers like Beyonce. Getting together with your friends.
And germs--flu germs to be exact. Turns out, there are 18 percent MORE cases of influenza during the Super Bowl, especially in the geographic areas that have an NFL team in the game, a study published in the American Journal of Health Economics found. (So this year, for instance, people in the Carolinas and Colorado would be most vulnerable.)
The biggest culprits are the people at small gatherings, notes Charles Stoecker of Tulane University School of Public Health. "Every year, we host these parties that we go to and you are coughing and sneezing and sharing chips and dip with people that you often don't socialize with," he says. The end result: People passing viruses and germs to one another in a different pattern, which makes transmissions of infections easier.
To protect yourself, wash your hands often, don't share food and drinks, and if you're sick, stay away from the party. And whatever you do, don't double dip.
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