back to article Millions of moaners vindicated: Man flu is 'a thing', says researcher, and big TVs are cure

Moaning men complaining they have "man flu" – a much more serious and, if sufferers are to be believed, potentially deadly version of the common cold – may actually have a point. Canadian academic Kyle Sue investigated whether men are wimps or just immunologically inferior, in an article published in the British Medical …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Perhaps now is the time for male-friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort."

    And Scotch. Nice Scotch too. I once remember a bottle of lovely Bowmore helped me recover from a nasty cold. Should be available on prescription. Or free in the above man-flu recovery zones.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Bowmore is very nice, but I am also quite partial to Talisker's Port Ruighe. Slightly gentler on the throat, which might be beneficial. Some smoked Scottish salmon to go with it (only for the correct balance of omega fatty accids, of course) would go down nicely as well

      1. thegroucho
        Joke

        You are both wrong - if you are this ill then likely your sense of taste and smell is going to be affected.

        No point using the nice stuff, an average quality will do well.

        Once you feel better - congratulate yourself with a wee dram of the good stuff.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          I'm going to go all 'Five Go Mad' ..comic strip

          And suggest 'lashings of' Ginger Beer Wine - hot preferably...

          Relatively cheap....and ginger! You'll be up chasing wife, significant other or Nurses * around in no

          time...

          * not recommended, but you can still think about doing it, (at least presently).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "No point using the nice stuff"

          You may have a point, but I'm a little disappointed with your use of logic and reason in these circumstances. I managed to convince myself, and my family, that the quality of the Whisky was the key factor in my recovery. This is one of the few times I'm willing to take a leap of faith. Evidence? Totally unnecessary.

          1. John Sager

            Re: "No point using the nice stuff"

            Ginger wine & cooking scotch in 1:1 ratio in the 'morbid' phase, then it has to be Highland Park in the recovery phase (and subsequent phases too!).

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: "No point using the nice stuff"

            A friend of mine used to swear by a tot of Bourbon heated in the microwave. No need to drink the stuff, just open the oven door & inhale...

        3. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Once you feel better - congratulate yourself with a wee dram of the good stuff.

          "A wee dram"? Meh... moderation is for monks. Bring on the cask!!!!

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Glenkinchie

        Just saying.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      A doctor writes...

      From the South Wales Daily Post, September 1895

      "EXCELSIOR SCOTCH WHISKY. "We have examined analytically the blend of Scotch Whisky, and find it to be unusually pure, of excellent flavour, and well matured. Recommended with confidence as a safe and palatable stimulant for the sick and convalescent." The Practitioner Ed. T LAUDE BRUNTON, M.D., LL.D., &c. SOLE PROPRIETORS MARGRAVE BROS., LLANELLY. "Perfection of Blended Whisky."The Lancet

      Other docs preferred Irish:

      Merthyr Telegraph 1872

      "DUNVILLE & Co., Belfast, are the largest holders of whisky in the world. Their old Irish Whisky is recommended by the medical profession in preference to French brandy. Supplied in casks and cases for home use or exportation"

      I like the idea of a cask for home use...

      (Can we have a wee dram icon?)

    3. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      Medical Scotch

      Years back I bought myself a lovely bottle of 1962 Oban (years back, but this was still getting on for 30 years old at the time). One evening a few weeks later the wife and I headed over to my sister's where my brother in law proceeded to drink the said bottle and I must say it was divine. Silky smooth.

      The next day I awoke with a bad head and the Mrs wasn't very sympathetic (for some unknown reason). When I was feeling much worse by night time she finally relented to accepted that perhaps my ailment wasn't of my own causing. After everything that went near my mouth for the next 5 days bounced the Mrs (who was a nurse) finally persuaded the GP that I might have food poisoning (I'd stupidly eaten a burger from a dodgy looking van during the day before the drinking session). I was put on a dose of antibiotics and a few days later started to return to the land of the living. A while later I was chatting to one of the consultants at the hospital and the story came up and he postulated that I quite likely owed my life to that whisky he thought that the golden liquid had likely killed off quite a lot of the organism that did me so much harm.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Medical Scotch

        Your taste goes when you have man flu so never waste good scotch on it. I use to suffer from regular bouts of bronchitis when younger and found the best 'cure' was cheap scotch (they didnt make the shit shop-branded stuff then) and hills bronchial balsam. HBB was the only medicine I've ever taken that works on your chest - possibly due the the addictive ingredient of morphine acetate which apparently caused a lot of addiction amongst the crumblies and got it banned. Sickness is a pain now,

        1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

          Re: Medical Scotch

          Your taste goes when you have man flu so never waste good scotch on it.

          I wasn't aware I was ill when I drank it. The sickness hadn't had time to get me, I certainly wouldn't have wasted it later on, I couldn't even hold down water.

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        "Medical Comforts"

        Bottle of Brandy, in "Doctor at Sea" by Richard Gordon

        Also featured in the film with Dirk Bogarde and Brigitte Bardot

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: "Medical Comforts"

          Benny* and Hot**

          * Benedictine

          ** Hot water

        2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

          Re: "Medical Comforts"

          For a cold, I generally use (and recommend) a mug of strong tea with a dollop of honey and a large shot of rum in it.

          The hot beverage clears the head, the honey soothes the throat, and whatever symptoms those don't get rid of, the rum makes you dig having.

  2. Semtex451 Silver badge

    Vindication at last

    Going to use this as a sick note. Cough.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Vindication at last

      Never trust a man named Sue.

      1. Morten_T
        Joke

        Re: Vindication at last

        Maybe his parents wanted him to become a lawyer :P

      2. Nonymous Crowd Nerd

        Re: Vindication at last

        "Never trust a man named Sue"

        Particularly Kylie Sue. Could possibly be a country singer in his spare time.

  3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Doctor's advice...

    I have it on good authority that masturbation helps with a cold. Just repeat the prescription every 30-60 minutes for the following 16 years.

    Added bonus - it creates heat, and the tissues can be explained away by the cold.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Doctor's advice...

        Don't forget to switch hands to get a balanced workout

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Doctor's advice...

      Agreed. A decent self-medication for a range of minor ailments. Until you get the proper stinker and can't get it up at all.

      I think the underlying mechanism is nothing more exciting than that you're getting a bit of exercise and raising the circulation. But when you're under the weather, a decent exercise you can do in bed is not to be sneezed at.

  4. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    As we all know...

    Women won't believe any scientific study on this written by a man.

    1. codejunky Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: As we all know...

      Or to really poke the bear- what about people who believe they are male?

  5. Chris Hawkins

    A man named Sue????

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Well, he must o' thought that is quite a joke

      And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,

      It seems I had to fight my whole life through.

    2. 8Ace

      "How do you Do" !

    3. adam payne Silver badge

      Kyle Sue

    4. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      RE: Chris

      If it's presented as just Sue, women probably still won't believe it. If it's presented as Kyle Sue, they definitely won't believe it.

    5. Bob Wheeler
      Pint

      A man named Sue

      Hyu, you could write a song about that.... oh wait....

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: A man named Sue

        I'm sure it's unrelated but Mike Scott wrote a song about "A girl called Johnny."

        In terms of Whisky, I prefer Irish.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

    The statistics are that women take substantially more sick days than men (2.5% v 1.6%). My experience is that men are much more stoical than women and if there is something real to man flu then it just reinforces men's fortitude. I do quite like the banter but any remark which could be construed as negative against women is more or less a sacking offence so it is one sided and no fun like it used to be.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

      It men soldiering on through man flu, or women trying not to spread their germs around the office?

      As a boss, if someone has a cold/flu/whatever, I'd rather they not come into the office. One person off ill is inconvenient. Half a dozen staff off a few days later with the same infection is much worse.

      Men may think they're being brave coming into the office when ill, but they're not doing anyone any favors.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        @A Non e-mouse

        Unfortunately you seem to be in a minority, most managers I've come across don't care about whether you infect everyone else, they just don't want you to be off.

        My experience is not that it's bravery driving people to come in when ill, it's fear of reprisals.

        1. Laura Kerr
          Devil

          Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

          "most managers I've come across don't care about whether you infect everyone else, they just don't want you to be off."

          Droplet infection is your friend for dealing with people like that. If you find yourself working for that sort of manager, the thing to do is spend as much time in their presence, while coughing and sneezing into a sopping wet hanky. Preferably in a small room.

          If they catch it themselves, they don't have any choice but to come in, unless they want to run the gamut of smirks when they come back after being off sick.

        2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

          Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

          My experience is not that it's bravery driving people to come in when ill, it's fear of reprisals.

          As professionals we are the lucky ones. I have a bus driver friend who simply did not get paid if he took time off ill and it is the same for many other people out there.

          Effectively forcing people to work when ill, particularly in direct public facing roles, has huge consequences for all of society.

          I have had far fewer colds and sniffles since I began working from home. When I do go down with a cold I can usually pinpoint it to some snotty-nosed kid on a checkout a few days earlier.

          1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

            Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

            Effectively forcing people to work when ill, particularly in direct public facing roles, has huge consequences for all of society.

            My partner used to be a teacher and whenever they had a hint of an illness (cold, stomach bug, etc), they were forced to not go into work for at least 48 hours to prevent it spreading around the school.

            1. Lamont Cranston

              Re: teachers

              Schools only tend to insist on the 48 hour absence if you've been vomiting, these days.

              I find presenteeism is a bit of an issue where I work, probably because we're understaffed.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

              Never experienced that in any of the schools I've worked in which is why we're almost constantly ill for the winter term.

          2. Richard 81

            Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

            @Jason Bloomberg:

            Indeed, statutory sick pay doesn't kick in until you've been off for four consecutive days (including non-working days).

      2. chivo243 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        @A Non e-mouse

        A sane viewpoint if I've ever seen one. I am one colleague who was collateral damage due to other colleagues who wouldn't stay home when they were sick.

      3. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        > As a boss, if someone has a cold/flu/whatever, I'd rather they not come into the office. One person off ill is inconvenient. Half a dozen staff off a few days later with the same infection is much worse

        But where do you draw the line? If someone has a cold (almost none of the self-reported "flu" is anything more than a cold, if you had real flu you wouldn't be well enough to make the call) and is capable of getting themselves into the office, it can't be that bad. So to suggest that others would get it worse and be confined at home for several days sounds a lot like slacking.

        As it is, most people work at far below their capacity, so a little bit of illness won't affect their ability to delete unread emails, sit in boring meetings or add bugs to code.

        1. thomas k

          Re: most people work at far below their capacity

          Must be nice to work in a place like that. While every place has its share of shirkers and slackers, the hotels I've worked all seem to have a policy of 'if it takes 4 people to do the work, only hire three' and, between call-outs (pretty common with the youngsters) and/or high turnover (due to the high workload), you frequently have to make do with 2.

      4. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        Men may think they're being brave coming into the office when ill, but they're not doing anyone any favors.

        Management need to sort out their priorities on this.

        I find getting told off if I come in sick and getting grumbled at about letting people down 'cause I couldn't make it in when sick a mixed message.

      5. handleoclast Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        Men may think they're being brave coming into the office when ill, but they're not doing anyone any favors.

        Who wants to do people favours? The only fun to be had when you get a cold or flu is going to work and giving it to everybody else so they suffer too.

      6. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        I used to go in to work to spread the bug then take a couple of days off sick and then return to an empty office and get shitloads of work done while everyone else was off. They were going to get it anyway and a synchronised plague is advantageous to some - even the manager who gets so much work done for him by not being in the fucking way all the time.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

      Men are not stoical, more like stubborn.

      Failing to admit they are not well and needing help.

      As soon as you turn away from them they collapse on the floor as their 'man' pride stops them from asking for help.

      (written by a man who felt like death on legs for 3 days after having flu shot, not flu)

      P.S. Possibly the statistics about the percentages of time off sick also account for certain things like migraine, menstrual pain (some have it quite bad, just try googling Endometriosis) and in later life menopause.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        things like migraine, menstrual pain (some have it quite bad, just try googling Endometriosis) and in later life menopause.

        Over-complicated design, should have kept to the KISS principle. Those jokes about we men being simple creatures are born out of pure envy.

    3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

      Doesn't even take an illness for women to have a sick day off...Just a memo referring to how women are more emotional than men, supported by scientific studies...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tigra 07

        Is that a Google reference?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

      These stats would be a whole lot more useful if we were told how much of them was down to infectious ailments (please stay away) vs those that are no risk to colleagues.

      I know a woman who took nearly three years continual sick leave to look after her mother. There was no pretence that she was sick herself: her employer (the NHS) just approved it and paid her full salary.

  7. shifty_powers
    FAIL

    Expect better than this from the reg

    No, it does not mean there is 'man flu'.

    It means that a rather poor quality piece of research with methodological flaws has been picked up relatively unquestioned and presented as far stronger than it really is.

    This the Reg, not the Daily Mail/Express etc..

    This may be niave but at least THINK before you post a story.

    (Ex-mental health nurse with strong distaste for poor reporting of science).

    Edit: Even BBC morning news show managed to do this better than the Reg.... (They had two suitable experts to at least vaguely explain why).

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Expect better than this from the reg

      This the Reg, not the Daily Mail/Express etc.

      And you should know that El Reg will happily print stuff for a joke (unlike the Mail and Express, which are a joke).

    2. Semtex451 Silver badge

      Re: Expect better than this from the reg

      Agreed the article should be a Bootnote.

    3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Expect better than this from the reg

      And you should remember that, on the whole, the commentards at El Reg tend to have well-developed critical and analytical skills and take great delight in pulling this sort of research apart - it';s a pleasant change from real work.

      Unlike readers of the Fail/Excess etc. who will happily believe that scientists have shown that coating your elbows with rancid camel dung will cure cancer/make Brexit a success/find Maddie McCann

      Being really PC and right-on I'll refrain from referring to Mr Sue's alma mater, and linking it to the jokes that I believe the northern neighbours of the USians make about Newfoundlanders. (Think Ireland and Kerryman jokes)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Expect better than this from the reg

        "Being really PC and right-on"

        I'm so glad you're PC and right-on and wouldn't do a thing like that.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Expect better than this from the reg

        Unlike readers of the Fail/Excess etc. who will happily believe that scientists have shown that coating your elbows with rancid camel dung will...

        Where would you find a rancid camel?

        Monty Python Accountant : ' Not in this part of Escher.'

        I've seen horses and donkeys occasionally in housing estates round Dublin, but not here. Rancid? well, it rains alot there....

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Expect better than this from the reg

          Teiwaz Monty Python Accountant : ' Not in this part of Escher.'

          Esher = town in Surrey, often the butt of Python jokes

          Escher = artist specialising in dimension-bending optical illusions

          Me = pedantic spelling pedant

          1. handleoclast Silver badge

            Re: Expect better than this from the reg

            @David 132

            Whoooosh?

        2. the Jim bloke Bronze badge

          Re: Expect better than this from the reg

          I encountered a rancid camel in the course of my duties, several years ago. Wasnt easily identifiable, dogs had been at it, but the smell was really really bad.

          We subsequently established our site office in that same location.

      3. cream wobbly

        Re: Expect better than this from the reg

        "the commentards at El Reg tend to have well-developed critical and analytical skills and take great delight in pulling this sort of research apart"

        Nope, most of them up to this point have been "Oh I need a wee dram and to sexually harrass some women". The well-developed critical analytic skills you're talking about are few and far between and exemplified by the post you're railing against. Well done!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Expect better than this from the reg

          The comments I put the other day that women are just as capable as men (not more capable, but as capable) only gathered around 50 down votes between them. Some of our fellow commentards do have a problem with women, but I think the vast majority do fall in to the original description of highly intelligent and sarcastic. If they didn't I wouldn't waste my time coming to El Reg just to read the comments which are often more interesting than the articles.

          1. Long John Brass Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: Expect better than this from the reg

            women are just as capable as men (not more capable, but as capable) only gathered around 50 down votes

            What was the context? I would guess that very few commentards here would argue that their fellow female pointy heads were any more or less (in)competent that any other.

            But; There has been a rash of won't someone think of the women oppression Olympics style articles that quite rightly gets on peoples nerves.

    4. david 12 Bronze badge

      Re: Expect better than this from the reg

      On the other hand, the statemenst that "colds" experienced by men are significant with lower frequency but higher mortality and disability that in comparable groups of women, is replicated by pretty much every study in the area, so it would be more suprising if this "poor quality piece of research with methodological flaws" had come up with anything different.

  8. adam payne Silver badge

    At last a study that shows that man flu is a thing, I knew it.

  9. Yesnomaybe

    Pretty conclusive?

    "men......exhibit a higher mortality"

    Isn't that pretty clear-cut then? FFS!

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Pretty conclusive?

      "men......exhibit a higher mortality"

      I think you'll find that (long-term) mortality in both men and women is close to, probably exactly, the same. i.e. 100%.

      Selective editing is a no-no!

  10. wolfetone Silver badge
    Pint

    Balanced Report

    A man has conducted research in to man flu, found out it was a thing. Automatically you would think that he's obviously biased.

    But no! His surname is a girls name. Ergo umbongo, balanced.

  11. cray74

    Britishese to Americanese

    Alright, my vocabulary in the Britishese** dialect of English has been corrected. From context, I'd previously interpreted "man flu" to mean "claiming illness for a day off when actually hungover."

    **I know, I know, "Britishese," "Americanese," "Australianese" and other English dialect terms haven't been fully embraced by the World English Approval Center. I keep writing them with helpful new words, but I think they're just intimidated about the enormous task of adding new words to English. Instead, when they bother to reply it's always "Cease and desist" this and "We're the Times Square McDonalds, stop bothering us" that.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Britishese to Americanese

      I keep writing them with helpful new words,

      I think you'll find that should be 'writing to them'!

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Britishese to Americanese

      "the Britishese** dialect of English"

      That would be simply "English". The Scots talk Scottish and the Welsh just spit. Any other claims of variations of the English language should simply be referred to as "wrong"

      1. 10forcash Bronze badge

        Re: Britishese to Americanese

        "The Scots talk Scottish" no, they talk English, with a Scottish accent.

        I agree about the Welsh though.

        There is a 'Scottish test' though, if you can pronounce 'Purple Burglar Alarm' without going into an infinite speech loop (can a loop be anything other than infinite?), then you are not afflicted by the speech impediment known as 'Scottish'

      2. The Indomitable Gall

        Re: Britishese to Americanese

        @AC:

        " "the Britishese** dialect of English"

        That would be simply "English"."

        You realise, don't you, that the reason many Scottish and Welsh people reject a British identity is that so many English people treat "English" and "British" as synonyms...?

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Britishese to Americanese

          You realise, don't you, that the reason many Scottish and Welsh people reject a British identity is that so many English people treat "English" and "British" as synonyms...?

          You only make that mistake once if you happen to know a suitably large and bulshie Welsh woman.

          If you're really really lucky, you get out of hospital with enough life left to tell about it.

          Icon --> we don't have anything close enough to the real level of violence!

    3. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Britishese to Americanese

      I'd previously interpreted "man flu" to mean "claiming illness for a day off when actually hungover."

      Seems a fair interpretation of the spirit of the phrase.

      The phrase "man flu" is all about abusing power to belittle a group of people that can't fight back (at least, not without bringing down the wrath of the Establishment on its head).

      When did you last hear a comparably derogatory phrase about women? Most likely, it was some feminist piece demolishing a strawman of misogyny. Or maybe something from Trump, whose election was surely a backlash against the mindset that gave us "man flu".

      1. the Jim bloke Bronze badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Britishese to Americanese

        Derogatory phrases about women are built into our language, from the common or vulgar references to genitalia, to things like "hysterical" which means something like emotionally berserk/unstable, but translates/derives from "having ovaries"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Britishese to Americanese

          "Derogatory phrases about women are built into our language, from the common or vulgar references to genitalia.."

          As are derogatory phrases about men based on common or vulage references to genitalia for example 'I think the comment claiming that language is sexist against women makes the author appear to be a sexist d**khead '

  12. TRT Silver badge

    "For many acute respiratory diseases...

    males are also more susceptible to complications and exhibit a higher mortality."

    RIP Keith Chegwin.

  13. Chris G Silver badge

    Caring and sharing

    In Spain if you want time off for a cold or flu you have to go to the quack for a certificate, often the doctor gives out prescription s for antibiotics. This action helps the evolution of things like MRSA but has zero effect on a virus.

    Most Spanish people, even if they are off work will continue to walk around shopping and what have you, while walking around they don't use tissues or a hanky they cough and sneeze all over anyone within range, then go crazy for flu jabs when an epidemic is reported.

    I work mostly on my own and always work through a virus if I can, my thinking is, why should something so small that I can't even see it with my glasses on, beat me and keep me from doing what I want?

  14. PatientOne

    This is somewhat behind the times

    So this is new research? That ignored the old that established *why* this occured?

    Here's a synopsys: It's down to testosterone. Testosterone suppresses the immune system while increasing libido. When a man gets ill, testosterone drops, libido drops, and the immune system gets a boost. Why? Because men are walking petri-dishes. Men get ill, fight off the infection, and if they survive, build antibodies and pass on to subsequent offspring the code to combat said illness. Over time the successful code builds and the species becomes more resilient to said infection.

    It's part of evolution and this has been known about for some years now.

    So what's new from this research?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: This is somewhat behind the times

      Pretty much what I came to say. Also, men are known to have a higher mortality as more prone to take risks (testosterone again) and also the more disposable half of the species.

  15. Paul Herber

    Curry

    Nobody has mentioned the big pot of chicken madras bubbling away on the hob. A must for any illness.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Curry

      Nobody has mentioned the big pot of chicken madras bubbling away on the hob. A must for any illness.

      Never could manage a bowl of rice with it when sick though - loss of appetite is usually a thing.

      Rice pudding on the other hand....

      But Curry soup....if you can find any....

  16. sisk Silver badge

    There's nothing new here. We've had research to show that the common cold and influenza both hit men harder than women - quite a lot harder in fact - for at least a decade now. Just because wives and girlfriends either haven't bothered to read it or don't believe it doesn't make it any less true.

  17. Ben1892

    "I told you I was ill"

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Terry 6 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Vacuous idea

    Since these symptoms are subjective and personal, no one knows how ill another person feels. Flinging terms like " man 'flu" around is merely a form of put down. And when a woman takes time off with a cold, she doesn't/can't know she feels worse than some bloke she's previously accused of "man flu". Nor for that matter does anyone else.

    Reality: If you feel really grim it's a bad cold - not 'flu - irrespective of the gender of the person who says it. A man with a really bad cold hasn't got 'flu - but a woman with a really bad cold also hasn't got 'flu.

    If it's really Influenza virus you will know about it.

    That being said, it's the idiots who say "It's only a cold" and soldier on ( or expect their staff/colleagues to soldier on) performing badly, taking longer to recover health and performance and spreading the virus to the rest of the staff who are most to blame for people claiming the have 'flu. If saying you're too ill to come to work with a severe cold isn't acceptable you pretty much have to claim it's 'flu.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Vacuous idea

      Since these symptoms are subjective and personal...

      They're actually not. Most symptoms of the common cold can be concretely measured through things such as mucus production, swelling of certain tissues, and vasoconstriction. The only subjective symptom is pain. Furthermore, we know from prior research that measured those symptoms that both rhinovirus and influenza really do produce more severe symptoms in men than in women. I have not, however, seen anyone suggest a semi-plausible hypothesis as to why (unless you count "men are wimps" as a semi-plausible explanation fro more severe symptoms that is).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a theory about man flu...

    Think back to our hunter - gatherer days, when women raised kids in the cave, and men hunted mammoths. If both a man and a woman experience a virus like the cold that impacts their performance by a similar feeling 25%, then if the woman succumbs to the feeling and does nothing, this endangers her children with relative immediacy. Meanwhile if a man does *not* succumb to the feeling, but instead goes out to hunt mammoths at 75% fitness, he is significantly endangering his life.

    This is my explanation for why it is a biological necessity for women to be stoic and for men to be wusses in the face of any non life-threatening ailment.

    My success in using this argument has varied considerably over the years, mind...

  21. Rabbit80

    Driving

    One of the reasons I insist on taking time off for a bad cold or other illness is that I don't feel safe driving (which is the only practical way for me to actually travel the 40 miles to work). If my attention isn't 100% then I shouldn't be allowed to control nearly 2 tons of metal hurtling along at 70MPH. I see near misses most days and pass on average 2 crashes/week just doing my daily commute - I don't want to be responsible for adding to the problem.

  22. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Spare energy

    > "invest their energy in other biological processes, such as growth, secondary sex characteristics, and reproduction".

    Hmm.. All mine seems to end up on my belly, a bit extra could probably be expended on the immune system to be honest.

  23. Big_Boomer

    Sneaky

    When I am sick I often put Pastis 51 in a medicine bottle mixed with water and swig from it. The taste is strong, it looks medicine like (cloudy green/white), smells and tastes like medicine (to non-Pastis lovers) and cheers me up. Don't mind a nice peaty malt, but prefer my Pastis. As for "man-flu" I always used to work through it but have one day off for the worst day. Then my employer of the time said that I had to get signed off by the Doctor due to too many single days off. After being signed off for four separate 2 week periods over the next 4 months, they accepted that I was actually sick and we went back to the one bad day. Was working in a college so surrounded by every virus known to man all day every day. After I finished working there didn't have a cold or flu for over 5 years :-)

  24. James Anderson

    I am currently suffering from sever Reindeer Flu or perhaps the more virulent Elf Flu so prevalent at this time of year.

    Luckily I have a caring and sympathetic wife to help me fight this dire illness. She asked me to ask El Reg readers for some advice and guidance.

    Which brand of antipathetic throat spray would they recommend?

    Are expensive deconstantmoanant nasal inhalers worth the money or is poundstretcher's own brand good enough?

    Are antiwimpiotics effective when taken orally or should she be administering the extra large suppositories?

    Finally are there any studies which indicate treatment is more effective when applied by the patients mother in the childhood home? If so would changing the locks be an act of kindness?

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