Is man flu a reality, or are down-trodden men across the world complaining about bad colds in order to illicit sympathy from their significant others? A tough, and crucially important, question, I’m sure you’ll agree. The Daily Mail, those bastions of accurate science reporting, would have you belive that science has solved this myth: research, they reported last year, has shown that women have stronger immune systems. Hooray! Man-flu is real, so we’re allowed to complain about it, gents!
Only, as ever, The Daily Mail were talking rubbish. This wonderful rebuttal by the NHS revealed how the research didn’t tell us any such thing. In actual fact, the work was carried out in mice, and looked at how susceptible said mice were to bacterial infection. Flu, though, is a virus. So, results showed that, in some cases, female mice managed to fight off food poisoning more effectively that their male counterparts. Which is almost the same as experiments based around humans and influenza, right? Err, no, sorry Daily Mail.
So where does that leave us? I’m sad to say that it probably just means that men just like a good moan.
Anyway, why am I reporting news from almost a year ago, and why now? Well, I’m currently conducting a man-flu experiment all of my own, sample size n=1. Yes, that’s right, I have a cold, I feel sorry for myself, and writing this meant I could avoid watching day-time TV for ten minutes. Any fellow sufferers should head over to manflu.org.uk: they proudly claim to ‘Be There When She Don’t Care’. Sounds wonderful. Now, where’s the bloody Lemsip? *Sniffle*