Horn-blowing soccer fans spread TB, disease

Soccer fan blows (germ-spewing) Vuvuzela

Soccer fan blows (germ-spewing) Vuvuzela

Remember those annoying South African “musical instruments” (I use the term loosely) called vuvuzelas that soccer fans blew constantly during the last World Cup?

Scientists say these incredibly irritating and atonal horns also spread infectious diseases like tuberculosis, according to the BBC.

A short burst on the instrument creates a spittle shower similar to a sneeze, traveling at a four million droplets a second, the study shows…. In crowded venues one person blowing a vuvuzela could infect many others with airborne illness like the flu or TB.

Accordingly, organizers of the 2012 London Olympics are now considering whether or not to ban the use of vuvuzelas at the games.


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Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at]humanosphere.org or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.