The Two-Day Denial: Most People Don’t Admit They’re Sick, New Poll Says

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Ever wondered why most people don’t admit they are sick until two days of illness? Join us as we uncover their surprising health habits.

A recent survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mucinex sheds light on the intriguing phenomenon of Americans’ reluctance to acknowledge illness. The survey highlights that more than one in four Americans believe they can will away their sickness, with some surprising trends in how they deal with symptoms.

Why most people don’t admit they are sick?

The poll discovered that Americans often delay recognizing their illness until certain symptoms manifest. It takes an average of two days for individuals to admit they may be unwell, typically waiting for symptoms like cold sweats or chills (48%), a fever (46%), or green snot (21%) to surface. Despite other common indicators like body aches (46%) or a nagging cough (19%), it still takes considerable time for many to accept their ailment.

Allergies as a Common Excuse:

A surprising finding is that nearly three in five respondents (59%) sometimes resort to the classic “it’s just allergies” excuse when feeling under the weather, although only 20% believe that line from someone else.

If they wake up with a sore throat, one-third (34%) would attribute it to allergies, while only 16% would consider themselves genuinely sick, with an additional 14% blaming the weather.

Symptoms Often Ignored:

Many respondents tend to overlook symptoms like a runny nose (45%), cough (33%), headache (29%), or body aches (26%). These symptoms are brushed off until they persist, with the average respondent acknowledging their sickness after two days.

Work vs. Sick Days:

Interestingly, more than one-third (36%) of respondents choose to carry on working when they feel unwell rather than taking a sick day (25%).

Concerns over losing pay (31%) or work piling up (22%) are common reasons for this decision, but 37% believe that working helps take their minds off being sick. However, a majority of healthy coworkers (71%) view this as rude.

Sickness vs. Important Events:

In some cases, Americans power through their symptoms to attend significant events such as funerals (35%), their own weddings (34%), or vacations (34%). Others refuse to let their loved ones down, persisting for school pick-up and drop-off (24%) or someone else’s wedding (16%).


This poll offers valuable insights into how Americans perceive and handle illness, emphasizing the importance of understanding one’s body and symptoms to make informed decisions about health.

Albert So, marketing director of Mucinex, urges people to prioritize their well-being and not ignore their body’s warning signs, emphasizing that staying home and seeking appropriate symptom relief can ultimately be more productive in the long run.

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