HEALTH

Study: Singers, auctioneers 
most at risk for sore throat

BY Michael Johnsen

A recent Prestige Brands survey linked certain professions to a propensity for sore throats. The careers most commonly associated with sore-throat pain were singers (53%) and auctioneers (40%). Healthcare workers (47%) and teachers (37%) also were perceived to be at risk due to their potential exposure to airborne illnesses. Almost 3-out-of-4 of those sore-throat sufferers also were under the weather from a cold or flu.


The survey was conducted by TABS Group, an independent consumer analytics company, which contacted 903 people to explore causes of sore-throat pain and the remedies people use to treat it.


As many as 55% of respondents listed throat pain relief as the top reason for buying a particular sore-throat remedy brand, followed by 38% saying they buy a particular brand because it works instantly.

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HEALTH

Second half of cold-flu season may cough up sales

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The second half of the 2010-2011 cough-cold-flu season actually may realize greater sales of symptom relievers than last year, judging from the four weeks ended Dec. 26. According to Matrixx president and CEO Bill Hemelt, sales of remedies were on the rise in those four weeks. Hemelt noted that the total cough-cold category was 5% higher than the same period last year and growing. 


However, there still exists an inclination of retailers to order ultra-
conservatively when it comes to cough-cold remedies, Hemelt noted, so ordering may become heavy in the second half. “Retailers continued to trim their inventory levels in comparison to last year; however, we believe retailers’ inventory of our products has reached a point where they will increase purchases to offset the increased consumer takeaway,” he said.


In addition to colds, incidence of influenza also appeared on the rise heading into February. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that 30 states were reporting widespread influenza activity as of Jan. 29.

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Study: 53% of colds 
originate in workplace

BY Michael Johnsen



Americans are hard-pressed these days to call in sick, especially for something as innocuous as a cold or even the flu. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that nearly 72% of workers typically go to work when they are sick. Workplace pressures and “presenteeism” may be causing workers to go in under the weather, as more than half (55%) of workers said they feel guilty if they call in sick.


The CareerBuilder survey was conducted nationwide from Nov. 15 to Dec. 2, 2010, among more than 3,700 workers.


That’s good news for purveyors of cold remedies, because the men and women who are sucking it up with the help of symptom relievers are likely passing their germs on to others. More than half of workers (53%) said they have gotten sick from a co-worker who came to the office sick, while 12% said they picked up a bug from someone who was sick on public transportation going to or from work.

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