Super Bowl XLVIII this weekend will bring fans and friends together at parties at a time when the flu is rampant across 41 states, and there are ways to keep the flu sidelined from the party.
The most recent report by The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows influenza activity remains high, with increasing numbers of deaths and people who are ill. All 50 states report residents with the flu and the virus is widespread across 41 states. More than 4,600 people across the country have been hospitalized with flu complications since October.
But the American Red Cross has a series of tips to defend against the flu during Super Bowl festivities.
SEVEN PRO PARTY TIPS
1. If you are sick or someone in your household is ill, bench yourself and stay home. And if you’re planning to host a party and get sick with the flu, cancel the party,
2. Avoid a penalty flag for unnecessary germ spreading by covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve. Don’t use your hands. Throw the tissues away and clean your hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.
3. Call frequent time outs for handwashing. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
4. Before the guests huddle up at the party, hosts should make sure there is plenty of soap and disposal hand towels or paper towels in the bathroom.
5. Pro players don’t share water bottles, so don’t let anyone else drink out of your glass, cup, can or bottle. Write names on the cups or mark them in some way to keep them separate and defend against mix ups.
6. Avoid a party foul. If the host has a super bowl of chips or nuts, use a spoon or tongs instead of plunging your hand into the bowl. Your teammates will award you extra points.
7. If your team scores a touchdown or makes a big play, avoid the kisses or high fives with friends. Try an elbow bump or your own individual touchdown dance.
More information about how to help keep you and your loved ones protected from the flu can be found at redcross.org/FluTips.