Hongkongers catch a cold more than twice a year on average and are not doing enough to prevent illness, a survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme (HKUPOP) has shown.

The HKUPOP survey, commissioned by the Association of Private Medical Specialists of Hong Kong and the HK Men’s Health Society, interviewed 507 people and found that on average, Hongkongers come down with a cold 2.4 times a year.

However, more than 70 percent of the respondents with full-time jobs said they would still go to work when they were ill.

More than 60 percent of respondents said that during the longest lasting illnesses they have had, they were sick for more than a week.

File photo. Photo: Flickr.
File photo. Photo: Flickr.

40 percent of smokers interviewed in the survey said they would still light up while ill, and 20 percent said they would continue to consume alcohol.

The survey also found that 23 percent of respondents were of the erroneous belief that consuming pig lungs or drinking certain soups would help to prevent illnesses.

Respiratory specialist Dr. Henry Kwok Kai-him told Apple Daily that if people do not rest when they come down with a cold and continue to be engaged in high-risk activities that could worsen the illness, it could cause complications such as pneumonia.

Although 70 percent of respondents said they thought getting a vaccine could help prevent pneumonia, only 7 percent said they had done so.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.