NEW YORK — As flu season kicks off and the probability of catching the flu is a real concern, a majority of Americans admit to taking actions that may contribute to the spread of this highly contagious virus.
According to a new survey, roughly three out of five Americans who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms (61%) admitted to being out and about the last time they felt sick1, putting others at risk, likely without them knowing.
Where did they go? Unfortunately, all over town.
Germiest Places During Flu Season
When asked where they went the last time they felt sick, those who left the house indicated:
- Drug store/Pharmacy – 69 percent
- Grocery store – 43 percent
- Workplace – 39 percent
- Friend/Family member’s house – 20 percent
- Restaurant/Deli – 16 percent
- ATM – 14 percent
- Public transportation – 10 percent
- Gym – 8 percent
- School/Daycare – 7 percent
- Party – 5 percent
- Other – 7 percent
Who are the Top Offenders? Parents and Millennials
- 75 percent of parents with children under 18 who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms left home the last time they felt sick.
- Millennials (ages 18-34) who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms were much more likely than those 35 and older to have ventured out the last time they felt sick (76 percent vs. 56 percent). Of those who left the house, where did they go?
- Grocery store – 53 percent (vs. 37 percent of those ages 35+)
- Friend/Family member’s house – 33 percent (vs. 14 percent of those ages 35+)
- Restaurant/Deli – 23 percent (vs. 12 percent of those ages 35+)
- Gym – 15 percent (vs. 4 percent of those ages 35+)
- School/Daycare – 15 percent (vs. 2 percent of those ages 35+)
People Not Taking Precautions to Prevent Spreading Germs
The CityMD survey also found that some Americans who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms did not take standard precautionary measures to prevent the spread of germs the last time they felt sick:
- More than half (51 percent) did not use hand sanitizer after they coughed/sneezed
- 57 percent did not use disinfectant wipes on surfaces they touched
- Roughly 1 in 4 (26 percent) did not wash their hands after coughing/sneezing
“The fact that many people with the flu or flu-like symptoms are leaving home to go to the store, work or the ATM and are not taking precautions is creating environments that can infect others and spread what is a very underestimated disease,” said Dr. David Shih, executive vice president of strategy, health and innovation at CityMD. “This is why getting the flu shot is so important. You never know where you can contract flu germs. And please, if you feel sick, wash your hands often.”
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of CityMD from August 24-28, 2017 among 2,067 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,857 have had the flu or flu-like symptoms. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 2010 by a passionate group of emergency medicine physicians, CityMD‘s mission is to serve its communities by providing quality medical care through convenient access and an exceptional experience. The company’s unwavering commitment to treating everyone with respect and genuine kindness while offering exceptional services and a cost-effective alternative to the ER, has enabled CityMD to grow from one Manhattan practice to more than 75 locations in the greater New York Metro Area and Seattle, Washington. To date, CityMD has treated over 5 million patients.
For more information about CityMD and a list of locations, please visit CityMD.com.
1 This refers to the last time they had the flu or flu-like symptoms