Heightened Awareness of H1N1 Helped People Better Prepare for Combating Cold and Flu This Year

Friday, March 19, 2010 General News
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 18 With almost half of respondents saying they believe a sneeze travels eight feet or more, one might think you would be sick all the time. But a recent national survey of 1,017 U.S. adult men and women (age 18+) conducted by Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., maker of Zicam, found a majority of Americans polled surprisingly saw this cold and flu season as "about the same" (42%) or only "slightly worse" (21%) from last year, despite all the hype this past fall around H1N1. Consumers' biggest concern about getting the flu or a cold is feeling lousy (36%), followed by getting others sick (19%). And with 80 percent of people reporting that they either sneeze into their elbow or hand, most are doing what they can to keep others healthy.

The dire warnings and resulting heightened awareness about a potential, sweeping H1N1 flu pandemic, however, appear to have been key factors in helping Americans be better prepared this year. In fact, the Zicam Cold & Flu Report revealed that 95 percent of people said they took proactive steps to stay healthy and combat cold and flu, while only 5 percent reported doing nothing or "waiting it out."

"While this year's flu pandemic thankfully proved less severe than initially expected, it's important to remember that preparation and early trea(TM)ent are the best defenses against the common cold, which can strike year round," noted Dr. Tim Tucker, Pharm.D.,FAPhA, and immediate past president of the American Pharmacists Association. "Unlike most cold medications that just mask symptoms, zinc products, such as Zicam Cold Remedy, can reduce the duration of your cold if taken within the first 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms."

Some interesting cultural and demographic differences in how people respond to a cold, included:

If you get a cold (62% report getting at least one each year), the top things people do to proactively prepare themselves to stay healthy include 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%).

But unless you're planning on shutting yourself off from the world - respondents reported they felt they were most susceptible to catching a cold at work (50%); at a shopping mall, theatre or public venue (43%); from kids (42%); and on a plane, train or other public transportation (31%) - the best defense is indeed a good offense when it comes to staying healthy.

Each month, Dr. Tucker answers pertinent cold and flu related questions on Zicam.com to help keep consumers informed and better prepared for cold and flu season. For more cold-fighting tips, or to find out what cold, flu and cough activity is going on in your area, or in the city or town you're traveling to, log on to www.zicam.com and use the Zicam Cold & Flu Tracker.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted online in February 2010 with a random sample of 1,017 men and women (age: 18+). All respondents are members of the Impulse Research proprietary online panel. The Impulse Research proprietary online panel has been carefully selected to closely match U.S. population demographics and the respondents are representative of American men and women (age: 18+). The overall sampling error rate for the survey is +/- at the 95% level of confidence.

About Zicam Cold Remedy

Most cold medicines are designed to mask cold symptoms; however, Zicam Cold Remedy is different. When taken at the first sign of a cold (within the first 24-48 hours), Zicam Cold Remedy products, which use propriety formulations of zinc gluconate and zinc acetate as the active ingredients, reduce the duration and severity of the common cold when used as directed. Two new Cold Remedy items, Zicam Cold Remedy Zavors and Zicam Cold Remedy Plus Liqui-Loz, also are available on retailer shelves this cold season.

About Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.

Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. is engaged in the development and marketing of over-the-counter health care products that utilize innovative drug delivery systems. Zicam, LLC, its wholly owned subsidiary, manufactures and markets a full line of Zicam brand pharmaceuticals, including Zicam Cold Remedy Chewables; Zicam Cold Remedy Oral Mist(TM); Zicam Cold Remedy RapidMeltsŪ; Zicam Allergy Relief(TM); Zicam Extreme Congestion Relief(TM); Zicam Sinus Relief(TM), as well as Zicam Cough products and Zicam Multi-Symptom relief items. For more information regarding Matrixx products, please visit www.Zicam.com.

-- Asian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans are more likely to get extra rest and take extra Vitamin C -- Older Americans (65+) are more likely to visit a doctor -- African-Americans get extra rest, but prefer over-the-counter cold medicine to help lessen the effects of a cold -- Men are far more likely to delay any kind of at-home treatment or to "wait it out," while women try to get more rest and see a doctor if symptoms worsen

SOURCE Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.

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