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When "don't get sick" becomes a mantra
10. October 2021.
It comes as no surprise that the fear of falling ill has increased during the past year. The STADA Health Report 2021 has brought to light how Europeans try to avoid catching even the smallest cold and, aside from the obvious, has sought to explain why – and how they prefer to treat it.

When they feel a cold coming on, Europeans jump into action and try a number of things to ward it off. Besides well-known home remedies such as tea, chicken broth or a hot water bottle, more than one in three Europeans (34 percent) use dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals and probiotics to reinforce their immune system, thus supporting it in its fight against the infection. Serbians clearly raise the average here, as 59 percent of them rely heavily on supplements. 26 percent of Europeans use preventive products such as nasal sprays as a first line of defence. People in Russia are particularly fond of them – more than half of the population (52 per cent) resort to these means. To relieve several possible symptoms at once, 16 percent of Europeans reach for combination products, which, again, are very popular among Russians (33 percent). In comparison, combination products go down well with only 5 percent of Dutch people. Overall, one in five Europeans rely entirely on their pharmacist’s advice on which medicines to take.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, even the slightest sneeze or muffled cough has led to strange looks from those around us: The common cold has become a sensitive topic. 45 percent of Europeans believe that these looks and the associated stigma of having possibly been infected with coronavirus will persist after the pandemic. Only one fifth of those surveyed believe that the general fear of infection will recede after Covid. In Italy, people are the most suspicious in this regard (14 percent).

These are the results of the third international STADA Health Report 2021, a representative study with more than 30,000 respondents from 15 countries. On behalf of STADA Arzneimittel AG, the market research institute Kantar surveyed around 2,000 people each between the ages of 18 and 99 from: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom on the topic of "How has the pandemic changed Europeans’ views on health?".