Vicks survey: Consumers reluctant to take a sick day

CINCINNATI — As cold and flu stories continue to monopolize airwaves, a new study reports that people still look to power through with daily life when ill. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a significant number of influenza cases have been reported in major cities nationwide, signaling the height of the national cold, cough and flu season. Despite healthcare providers’ counsel that sick patients should recover at home to help limit spreading the virus, a survey from the makers of Vicks NyQuil Severe and DayQuil Severe shows that under-the-weather consumers often struggle with whether or not to call in sick. The leading motive for deciding not to take a sick day, as reported by respondents, was work pressures (44.9%). Additional reasons, cited in the Fourth Annual Vicks Global Cold and Flu Survey, include financial concerns (42.5%) and fear of falling behind at the office (33.5%).
 

"If you simply cannot take a sick day, there are effective over-the-counter medications on the market today to help you power through your cold and flu symptoms.”

 
“While we were surprised to see just how many U.S. respondents were reluctant to call in sick when experiencing a cold or flu, at Vicks, we understand that sometimes you just can’t take a sick day,” stated Dave Tomasi, Vicks North American marketing director. “As a brand, Vicks offers multiple solutions, such as NyQuil Severe and DayQuil Severe to help you feel better fast — whether you’re taking the day to recoup or you still need to put dinner on the table for the family.”
 
IMS Health Flu Activation Network, which measures the number of Influenza Like Illness incidents nationwide, recently released data showing elevated flu activity in all parts of the country, even though flu season historically hasn't peaked in the United States until late January or February.
 
Across the South Atlantic, IMS Health reported 10.1 million cases of ILI, up 21.4% as compared to last week. ILI in the Mid-Atlantic region totaled 6.9 million, up 27.1%, and across the Pacific at 6.4 million, up 28.4%. 
 
“The influenza virus circulating this year has mutated, and federal officials have warned that this year's vaccine may not provide as much protection — this has a lot of people very nervous,” stated Vicks spokesperson Barb Dehn. “I recommend that sick patients get plenty of rest at home, if they can, to limit the spread of the virus. As always, consult with your healthcare provider. If you simply cannot take a sick day, there are effective over-the-counter medications on the market today to help you power through your cold and flu symptoms.”
 
The Fourth Annual Vicks Global Cold and Flu Survey was conducted by Survey Monkey in two waves between April and July of 2014, at the end of the cold, cough and flu seasons across 15 nominated markets. One thousand interviews were fielded in 15 countries each using an online questionnaire. The 15 markets surveyed include the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, India, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Australia and Brazil.
 
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