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Coughing more than a minor annoyance

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If you've got a cold or the flu, you probably have a cough as well, which makes it hard to keep up with business as usual, according to a new national survey conducted by Braun Research.

It seems that the cough causes an uncommon response in America — people are changing their daily routine rather than treating their cough. Whether leaving the room during a meeting, or skipping a social gathering even though they feel fine, coughs make many Americans miss out.

The survey also shows that many people are unaware that coughing actually spreads serious illnesses — like the flu and bronchitis, two conditions that are more often spread through coughing than sneezing.

Why is America skipping treatment? Because treating a cough outside the home is just not convenient.

While cough syrup is a staple in most home medicine cabinets, it rarely finds its way into a briefcase, suitcase or purse. In fact, according to the survey, people are more likely to use bottled water to control a cough at work rather than use cough syrup, and many — 61 percent — say inconvenience is the reason why.

By not taking their cough seriously, these people are likely spreading their infection to others.

Survey findings also reveal that a cough often impacts a person's daily activities.

• At home: Most people — 66 percent — have had a cough ruin a good night's sleep, and nearly half — 48 percent — say that their cough has ruined a good night's sleep for someone else in their home.

• At work: Coughing impacts the workplace. For example, 41 percent of people actually will leave a meeting rather than cough through it.

• At play: While the majority of people — 78 percent — say that they don't think coughing is rude, 35 percent still will avoid social situations when they are coughing even if they feel OK.

Finally, the survey shows that most people — 71 percent — consider their average cough to be simply a mild problem or annoyance, and seek treatment either rarely or not at all. If people remember to cover their mouths and immediately wash their hands after they cough, it will help prevent the spread of infection. But without treatment in the mix, one person's "minor inconvenience" actually may be infecting others around them.

  • Pitch It & Forget It
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