By Team

TAMPA (CBSMiami) – The Hillsborough County’s health department has launched a national effort to track COVID-19 cases connected to Super Bowl. The city hopes get data from other states to understand if the game and the subsequent celebrations truly were superspreader events.

“We sent out a notice through a CDC-run program called Epi-X, basically just saying that if anyone identifies cases associated with the Super Bowl, to provide notification to us here in Tampa,” said Michael Wiese with the department of health in Hillsborough County.

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The system has been used throughout the pandemic and amid other outbreaks.

“We’ve used it in the past with things associated with arboviral diseases, with Hepatitis A when we were dealing with the Hepatitis A outbreak throughout the state, lots of notices would go out,” said Wiese.

This national system is a way for Hillsborough to get data from other states to understand if the Super Bowl and its celebrations truly was a superspreader event.

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“It has the potential to have nationwide impact,” said Dr. Jill Roberts.

But Roberts of USF said the drawback is not everyone who contracts the virus reports their cases.

“Those cases that never got tested, never reported, we have no idea that they’re actually linked to this particular outbreak,” Roberts said.

So, if we truly want to gain control of a virus that fights every effort to be tamed, doctors say everyone must do their part.

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“It’s going to take, like the saying goes, the village, right? The people who do get sick need to report they’re sick. They need to actually get tested so we know. But if nobody reports, we have no data,” Roberts said. Team