Consumers deem cough-cold season 'slightly worse' than last year, survey shows

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. More people felt the 2009-2010 cough-cold season was “about the same” or only “slightly worse” than the year prior, a recent national survey of 1,017 Americans sponsored by Matrixx Initiatives found.

A little less than half, 42%, characterized this past year’s season as about the same historically with regard to illness levels, and 21% suggested it was slightly worse in large part because of the H1N1 pandemic hype.


“While this year’s flu pandemic thankfully proved less severe than initially expected, it’s important to remember that preparation and early treatment are the best defenses against the common cold, which can strike year round,” stated Tim Tucker, immediate past president of the American Pharmacists Association. “Unlike most cold medications that just mask symptoms, zinc products … can reduce the duration of [a] cold if taken within the first 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.”



The perception of heightened illness rates may have been lacking this season, but almost everyone prepared for the worst this year, the survey found. The Zicam Cold & Flu Report revealed that 95% of people said they took proactive steps to stay healthy and combat cold and flu.



The top things people did to proactively prepare themselves to stay healthy this year included: frequent hand washing (85%); avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth (46%); liberal use of antibacterial gel (34%); avoiding shaking hands during cold and flu season (31%); and frequently sterilizing commonly used items in the home and office (26%).



Consumers’ biggest concern about getting the flu or a cold was feeling lousy (36%), followed by getting others sick (19%).


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