Dr. David Sklar Discusses Avoiding Illness During Super Bowl, Golf, Spring Training

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As the valley is home to multiple big sporting events this spring, thousands are traveling to the Phoenix metro area. Dr. David Sklar discusses how to avoid respiratory illnesses and flu during Super Bowl, golf and spring training seasons over these next few months.

What are the health concerns?

“We’ve had a really tough winter, and already with RSV and of course Influenza has been pretty bad, and then COVID. We still have COVID, some new variants, and unfortunately some people have been getting more than one of these variants. On top of it, we’ve also had strep throat, so some people are running around with strep throat. All of these are respiratory infections, and unfortunately, when people become close in contact that’s how it gets passed around,” said Sklar.

There are also concerns of those traveling out of state that may carry illnesses and other variants of COVID. “I think that’s going to be a challenge for us,” said Sklar.

What illness is considered the most contagious for this event?

“One of the real challenges is when people are having a good time, of course we want them to have a good time. We want them to enjoy the Super Bowl, and enjoy the parties, but a lot of times they begin drinking and the alcohol will sometimes cause people to speak a little more loudly. When they speak loudly, a lot of the respiratory viruses go out with the sounds they are making when they are speaking, and that gets passed from person to person,” said Sklar.

“If you are someone who is vulnerable, please get vaccinated. Vaccinations will protect you, if you get sick from ending up in the hospital and ending up on a ventilator, which still does happen. You can still wear a mask; I know people are a little embarrassed to be the one person in the group wearing a mask, but if you have a vulnerability it’s better to be safe than to feel like you’re going to be stigmatized,” said Sklar.

Sklar stressed the importance that if you have a cronic illness or another vulnerability, it is extremely important to stay safe to avoid catching these illnesses.

Dr. David Sklar, ASU's College of Health Solutions

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