Colds come back to bare face. The flu that is coming this year may be harder than usual if you look at the sales data for anti- flu products.In the whole of the autonomous community, this October has increased by 63% the sale of medicines aimed at relieving the symptoms of cold and flu with respect to the same month of the previous year. These are data from the Cofares pharmaceutical cooperative, which estimates an increase in the entire country of 51% between October 1 and 20. Andalusia is the seventh community with the highest increase.
This is the first autumn practically without restrictionssince the Covid-19 was unleashed, a new stage of pandemic life that is already beginning to have consequences. The most obvious is precisely the return of colds which, together with the flu, had a minimal incidence last season. This can be explained by the increase in social interactions , a worsening of the acquired habit of hand hygiene and the abandonment of the use of masks that act as a barrier method preventing the projection of infectious droplets.
“The trend is that we return to situations prior to the pandemic, although it is not expected to reach that much because we still wear masks, but we can say, head on, without having studies ahead, that if in the year 2019 there were 100 colds, in in 2020 there were two and, in 2021, I estimate that we will be at 70 or 80, that is, around 20% less than what was normal before,” confirms the president of the Professional Association of Pharmacy Office Entrepreneurs of Seville (Aprophase), Leopoldo Gonzalez .
The most immediate effect of this relaxation of measures is already being noticed in pharmacies, which have registered a notable increase in anti-flu medicationsaimed at alleviating the most typical symptoms, such as nasal congestion, tearing, cough, sneezing, muscle discomfort or headache. However, the fact that masks are still mandatory in closed spaces, pre-pandemic levels will probably not be registered.
“If we compare with last year, we can confirm that we have observed the awakening of these sales, expecting even more growth. We are not going to reach pre-Covid normality, but we can already talk about increases of 70% “, adds the headline from the Pino Montano Pharmacy, Joaquin Venegas .
The apothecary points out how the pharmacy becomes every year “the first spectatorof the phenomena that can occur in the situation of population flu” by acting as “the first containment dam and sanitary breakwater.” “Patients go to the pharmacy before going to the health center to try to relieve cold symptoms and that It gives an idea of ​​how respiratory viruses are behaving among the population,” he indicates.
In addition, last year there was a fear of the virus that is no longer detected as much in the clientele, who this year are more “on the lookout” before ” the great litmus test that will be this winter with third doses, without restrictions and greater vulnerability to the spread of different viruses,” Venegas points out. This can be seen in the sale of antigen tests, which, after the “boom” that led to its first sales in the summer, “are starting to stand out slightly again with the arrival of the cold and colds in the face of the population’s doubts about whether it will be Covid or not what is happening to them”, clarify. On the other hand, many masks

are still being sold in pharmacies , a clear proof that the population continues to use them, but not at the volume of a few months ago. “People continue to buy them, it is no longer the same, but in a residual way if we continue to sell them. It continues to be a very important protection measure,” says the pharmacist.
Venegas highlights the increase in sales of other types of products this fall, also as an effect of the lifting of security measures. It is the case of

lice treatments , due to the greater social interaction of children now. “Last year the season was also zero as compliance with social distancing between children was stricter and their concentration was less common. This meant that there was less spread of lice,” he adds.
Finally, pharmacies call for flu vaccination to “avoid greater evils” and thus reach winter, a typical time of high attendance at health centers due to respiratory viruses, “and reach winter with more than enough antibodies,” he concludes. the president of Aprophase.

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