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Are stadiums and amphitheaters safe from coronavirus? Grim clues from 54 years of flu outbreaks

Are stadiums and amphitheaters safe from coronavirus? Grim clues from 54 years of flu outbreaks
[Photo: /Unsplash; /Pixabay]
沙巴体育手机登录 by economists at West Virginia University, who analyzed weekly flu outbreak data from 1962 to 2016, to find that flu deaths correlate with professional sports games. This bodes poorly for large-scale events in the age of COVID-19, which is both more contagious and more deadly.

“opening pro sports games to fans is probably a terrible idea,” coauthor brad humphreys, an economist at west virginia university. “everybody’s yelling, screaming, high-fiving, and hugging. and you’ve got people eating and drinking.”

The researchers looked at cities that introduced new NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB sports teams over the 54-year period, and compared those cities’ flu death rates to both prior levels and to other cities with no professional sports teams. “After a new professional sports team came into a city, that flu season and every flu season afterward had more people dying of the flu,” says Humphreys. They found 4-24% increases in flu deaths, with the highest jumps associated with NHL games沙巴体育手机登录. Flu deaths decreased during strikes and lockouts.

The data indicates the likelihood that sports games would cause hundreds of additional COVID-19 deaths per city, and many thousands more severe cases per city. As of April, COVID-19 10-44 times 沙巴体育手机登录more Americans than the flu kills during typical weeks of flu season, though comparing flu data to COVID-19 data is .

Humphreys was inspired by reports of a February 19, 2020, soccer match in Italy that was super-spreader event, which the Wall Street Journal called “” He says that stadiums and theaters will likely will not be safe until herd immunity is achieved, likely from a vaccine.

“you’ll have some people say, ‘oh, but everybody can wear a mask,'” he says. “but you’ve seen how people are complying with that, right? and if these arenas are at full capacity, social distancing isn’t happening.”

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