Cold and flu symptoms don't deter many Americans from going to work, according to poll by Kraft Foods' Halls cough drop brand.


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Halls survey: Many cold/flu suffers won't call in sick

December 16th, 2010

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Cold and flu symptoms don't deter many Americans from going to work, according to poll by Kraft Foods' Halls cough drop brand.

The company said Wednesday that the Halls national telephone survey, conducted by Kelton Research, found that most working Americans won't sacrifice a sick day this year for most cold and flu symptoms, including a cough, sore throat, body aches and sinus headache.

Almost half of the more than 600 adults polled (44%) said they would consider going to work with a fever, and about a third (32%) said they would show up to work no matter how sick they get this season.

Given the nation's unstable economic environment and continued high unemployment, the survey results aren't surprising, according to Halls.

The cold and flu survey revealed that nearly one in five Americans (19%) feel pressure by their boss or supervisor to head into work when they're sick. About one in three of those polled (31%) said they wouldn't get paid for taking off on a sick day, and one in 10 (11%) said they would likely fall behind on their bills by taking a sick day.

What's more, more than 10% of those surveyed thought they would not likely receive their next pay raise or promotion, or worse, would lose their job for calling in sick.

"While Halls doesn't condone anyone going to work when they're sick, it's clear that many Americans plan to defy the advice of most experts and try to fight through this cold and flu season at work," commented Sebastian Genesio, marketing director for Halls. "Since we know that the economic climate has made an impact on the workplace, we conducted the survey to specifically see how Americans are affected by common cold and flu symptoms when it comes to work and to identify any concerns they have about taking time off when they're sick."

America's current sentiment toward sick days seems to parallel that of last year, the company said. While nearly half of Americans (46%) said they did not take a sick day last cold and flu season (October 2009 to March 2010), the same percentage said they're not likely to take a sick day over the next six months during this year's cold and flu season (October 2010 to March 2011). The other half of respondents (49%) said they expect to take between one and five sick days this cold and flu season (October 2010 to March 2011), up from last year.

Halls' line of cough drops, featuring its Advanced Vapor Action formula that starts working within 10 seconds to suppress coughs and soothe sore throats, includes Halls Cough Drops (regular and sugar-free), Halls Naturals, Halls Defense (also available in sugar-free), Halls Breezers (also available in sugar-free), Halls Plus and the new Halls Refresh.

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