Impact of the Euro 2020 championship on the spread of COVID-19

2023 | journal article. A publication of Göttingen

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​Impact of the Euro 2020 championship on the spread of COVID-19​
Dehning, J.; Mohr, S. B.; Contreras, S.; Dönges, P.; Iftekhar, E. N.; Schulz, O. & Bechtle, P. et al.​ (2023) 
Nature Communications14(1).​ DOI: 

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Dehning, Jonas; Mohr, Sebastian B.; Contreras, Sebastian; Dönges, Philipp; Iftekhar, Emil N.; Schulz, Oliver; Bechtle, Philip; Priesemann, Viola 
Abstract Large-scale events like the UEFA Euro 2020 football (soccer) championship offer a unique opportunity to quantify the impact of gatherings on the spread of COVID-19, as the number and dates of matches played by participating countries resembles a randomized study. Using Bayesian modeling and the gender imbalance in COVID-19 data, we attribute 840,000 (95% CI: [0.39M, 1.26M]) COVID-19 cases across 12 countries to the championship. The impact depends non-linearly on the initial incidence, the reproduction number R , and the number of matches played. The strongest effects are seen in Scotland and England, where as much as 10,000 primary cases per million inhabitants occur from championship-related gatherings. The average match-induced increase in R was 0.46 [0.18, 0.75] on match days, but important matches caused an increase as large as +3. Altogether, our results provide quantitative insights that help judge and mitigate the impact of large-scale events on pandemic spread.
Issue Date
Nature Communications 
EXC 2067: Multiscale Bioimaging 
Working Group
RG Priesemann (Physics, Complex Systems & Neural Networks) 



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