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Nothing to sneeze at: Cold medicine sales hit record low in Japan

Hand-washing and mask-wearing keep more than just coronavirus at bay

Masks and other efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus also seem to be working against the common cold.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Despite the continued spread of the coronavirus in Japan, run-of-the-mill colds appear to be on the decline as people stay home, wear masks and wash their hands in an attempt to avoid the pandemic.

Japanese sales of over-the-counter cold medicine dropped 22% to 78.7 billion yen ($711 million) in 2020, researcher Intage Healthcare said, the lowest figure since the company began tracking the market in 1996.

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