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Soccer May Explain More COVID Cases In England's Men

England soccer fans covid 07072021.jpeg
AP
England fans react as they stand on the roof of Leicester Square underground station after England won the Euro 2020 soccer championship semifinal match between England and Denmark played at Wembley Stadium in London, Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

Professor Paul Elliott, director of the React program at Imperial’s School of Public Health, speculated that men gathering at homes and pubs to watch the European Championship was one reason for the trend.

A closely monitored coronavirus infection survey indicates that men gathering to watch England’s progress in soccer’s European Championship may be a reason why women were less likely to test positive for the virus in recent days.

Interim findings covering June 24 to July 5 from Imperial College London and polling firm Ipsos Mori showed infections quadrupled since the previous so-called React-1 study. According to the survey, one in 170 people in England is infected, and there was a recent doubling time of six days.

Professor Paul Elliott, director of the React program at Imperial’s School of Public Health, said the prevalence of the virus also was higher in men — 0.7% against 0.5% for women. He speculated that men gathering at homes and pubs to watch the Euros was one reason for the trend.

The study was conducted before tens of thousands of spectators watched England beat Denmark 2-1 in a semifinal match on Wednesday evening at London's Wembley Stadium. England's win prompted scenes of wild jubilation elsewhere as fans celebrated the national team making its first final in a major tournament since the 1966 World Cup. In Sunday’s final, England will play Italy, again at Wembley.

Interim findings from the ongoing Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission are available in an interim pre-print report and will be submitted for peer-review.