Sports Law • Risk Management

Preventing Spread of Infectious Diseases at Sporting Events

Did you catch the measles at the Super Bowl? As you may have heard, The Indiana Department of Health is investigating a report that a fan may have exposed others to the measles at the Super Bowl Village on the Friday before the Super Bowl. Consequently potentially 200,000 who participated in the Super Bowl Festivities could have been exposed.

It takes a week after exposure to exhibit signs of an upper respiratory infection and to develop a high fever and so, if you were exposed, you will probably be confined to bed soon. The good news is that most people were vaccinated for measles when they were children and so they are not at risk of contracting it. But, if you opted out of vaccinating your children for fear that the medicine would cause autism, you might want to take their temperatures if they were possibly exposed.

Whenever you go to or host a sporting event, there is a risk of spread of disease. Fortunately, in the case of measles, the high vaccination rate makes this not such a serious problem. However, organizers of any event should take precautions to make sure that concession food preparation is sanitary, the restrooms are thoroughly cleaned and kept clean throughout the event, soap and water are available for patrons, employees and volunteers wash their hands regularly and that other areas are kept clean. Athletes should not share towels and locker rooms should be kept sanitary as well. Consider the high cost to your organization or event if the word gets out that a disease was spread at your event.