(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) More than a million people are expected to gather in Kansas City streets on Wednesday to celebrate the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory and medical professionals worry about the spread of the flu.
The historic occasion -- it's the second Super Bowl title in Chiefs’ franchise history -- will bring droves of people to one area who, in all likelihood, will be rejoicing with hugs, high-fives and other communal festivities.
That’s a lot more opportunities for the flu to spread from one person to the next.
More than 27,000 Missourians have come down with influenza so far this season.
The weekly state health department data show more than 5,000 flu cases have been confirmed during the week of January 19, which is an increase of 2.5 times the number of cases from the previous week’s total.
“Recently, we’ve seen a spike in cases of influenza A at my office,” said Dr. Cynthia Brownfield with Mosaic Life Care.
But still, more than one million people, crammed shoulder to shoulder, coughing and sneezing, can be a powder keg for spreading virulent pathogens.
"We know that whenever a large group of people congregates, there is a significant chance to spread viruses and other infections, especially those spread through droplets," Dr. Brownfield said.
She urges anyone who is sick to stay home.
If you are not sick and are headed to the parade, Dr. Brownfield advises handwashing and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.