Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hand washing top priority for Canadians as flu defence

Hand washing top priority for Canadians as flu defence

Survey finds message hitting home about H1N1 threat

TORONTO, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - Canadians are washing their hands in record numbers as a primary defence against flu infection, a national survey finds.

The survey, conducted by Harris/Decima for Dial Complete(R) Foaming Hand Wash found 89 per cent of Canadians wash their hands to protect their family's health. However, 92 per cent of women say they are more likely to wash their hands than men (85 per cent).

Hand washing, when done correctly, is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, and faced with the threat of H1N1, taking the proper precautions has never been more important.

In addition to questions about cold and flu prevention, the survey asked Canadians about their fears regarding the spread of the H1N1 flu virus.

Quebecers were the most laissez-faire about H1N1. Three out of ten Quebec respondents said they are not at all concerned about the virus' spread. In contrast, as many as six in ten Prairie residents are moderately or very anxious about it.

"Winter is right around the corner and we wanted to know if Canadians are taking precautions to guard themselves against cold and flu, including H1NI," said Roxanne Gregory, Henkel Consumer Goods Canada, Inc. "No one likes to get sick. It's good to see Canadians are taking charge of their health and using anti-bacterial hand washes to help prevent the spread of these illnesses."

Beyond washing their hands, how far will Canadians go to minimize the risk? Dial Complete asked participants if and how they would curb their lifestyles in the face of an H1N1 outbreak.

Half of Albertans say they would cocoon when faced with the flu -- they would stop being with friends (49 per cent), eating at restaurants (59 per cent) and even skip work (47 per cent) if there were an outbreak of H1N1. Known for their joie-de-vivre, French Canadians disagreed with such drastic lifestyle changes. In fact, Quebecers say they would be more likely to wear a mask (52 per cent) than refrain from a bite at their favourite restaurant (37 per cent).

    The survey also revealed:

- Ninety-three per cent of Canadians wash their hands properly and
frequently, regardless of age or income level
- Women are better judges of cold and flu symptoms than men. Forty-two
percent of women were able to indentify body aches and pain as a
difference between a cold and flu while only 27 per cent of men could
say the same
- Retirees are more proactive than younger Canadians with preventative
health measures. Ninety-two per cent wash their hands properly,
91 per cent get plenty of rest and 82 per cent minimize contact with
sick people

The survey polled 1,000 Canadians from September 17 through September 21, 2009.

About Henkel

For more than 130 years, Henkel has been a leader with brands and technologies that make people's lives easier, better and more beautiful. Henkel operates in three business areas - Home Care, Personal Care, and Adhesive Technologies - and is ranked among the Fortune Global 500 companies. More than 60 per cent of Henkel's sales are in fast-moving consumer goods, while the industrial business accounts for almost 40 per cent of the company's total sales. Henkel Consumer Goods of Canada, Inc. is based in Oakville, Ontario. For more information about Dial Complete(R) Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash visit:

For further information: Michelle Di Rocco, PUNCH Canada, (416) 360-6522 ext. 251,; Mary-Margaret Jones, PUNCH Canada, (416) 360-6522 ext. 241,

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