Super Bowl Sunday will be upon us on February 4th. While most Americans will be gathered around television sets to watch the big game, health officials in Minnesota and surrounding states will be on the lookout for any outbreaks of disease among the thousands gathered in Minneapolis for the game itself.
The Minneapolis and Saint Paul area is expected to see as many as one million visitors during the upcoming Super Bowl weekend. With this many people coming into an area at a given time, the possibility exists for outbreaks of disease.
With that in mind, health officials in Minnesota, Minneapolis and surrounding communities issued a healthcare alert to doctors, hospitals and clinics in the area. This alert runs through February 7. Healthcare officials are calling on the area’s healthcare community to be on the lookout for any disease outbreaks that are unusual for this time of the year.
Officials aren’t that concerned about the influenza virus. They don’t feel as if the risk of catching the flu is any greater than if people at the Super Bowl were just going about the events of their daily lives. What they are concerned about is outbreaks of disease such as norovirus that can cause severe gastric upset and diarrhea. They will also be looking to see if there is an uptick in the reports of food poisoning among those at the game or in the areas where people might stay during the Super Bowl Weekend.
Healthcare professionals will also look for signs of sexual trafficking and assault that may increase with so many people in the area. Doctors and hospitals are also asked to report suspicions of any bio-hazard threats due to possible terrorist attacks.
Healthcare officials want to emphasize that these actions are no different than what is normal for a large event. They issue alerts when large conventions or other large sporting events are in the area.