A survey commissioned by Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. finds that many people aren't planning ahead to stay healthy during this cold and flu season.


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Shoppers Drug Mart: Many don't prepare for cold/flu season

October 20th, 2010

TORONTO – A survey commissioned by Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. finds that many people aren't planning ahead to stay healthy during this cold and flu season.

The Canadian drug store chain said Wednesday that a national poll of 1,000 adults conducted in late August by Angus Reid Public Opinion found that 40% of respondents weren't preparing for the upcoming cold/flu season, even though about the same percentage of those surveyed said they were concerned about catching a cold or seasonal flu this year.

Shoppers Drug Mart noted, however, that concern about getting a cold or the flu has decreased from a year ago. Last year, 51% of Canadians expressed concern for themselves, their partner, their children and/or an elderly relative catching a cold or seasonal flu, compared with 41% in this year's survey.

The 2010 survey found that Canadians are most concerned about an elderly relative (34%) catching a cold or seasonal flu over their partner/children (27%) or themselves (25%). Also, those age 55 and older were the most likely group to prepare in advance for this year's cold and flu season.

"Preparation is key to weathering the cold and flu season in Canada," according to Akeel Jaffer, a Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist in Toronto. "Cold and especially seasonal flu can be very serious and, in some cases, quite debilitating. So as the season unfolds, it's important that families do what they can to be prepared and prevent illness."

Shoppers Drug Mart reported that according to Health Canada statistics, 3.4 million to 8.5 million Canadians come down with the seasonal flu each year, and that figure doesn't even include the number of people who come down with the common cold.

To help people prepare for cold/flu season, the drug chain offered the following list of recommendations:

• Know the difference between cold and seasonal flu, which differ in symptoms, duration and intensity.

• Consider getting the flu shot, which this year guards against both seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus. Shoppers Drug Mart is hosting flu shot clinics in more than 400 stores across Canada.

• Remove expired drugs from the medicine cabinet, and restock it with new cold and flu remedies, as well as other necessary prescription and over-the-counter medications. Other helpful items include alcohol-based hand sanitizer, vitamins D and C, and a thermometer.

• Maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes getting adequate sleep, drinking plenty of fluids, eating healthful foods and staying active.

Shoppers Drug Mart operates more than 1,180 pharmacy stores across Canada under the banners Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix.

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