Man flu strikes down thousands and thousands of guys every year – yet half of the arena’s population questions its very existence. Jonathan Wells investigates this probably mythical illness.
the times are drawing shorter, the air is rising less warm, and man’s greatest concern is creeping ever nearer.
yes, the first 1/2 of November marks a two-week length when Britons are most likely to catch a cold – and for males, that implies man flu might be lurking simply the opposite side of the bed room door. the effects of this grievous, pernicious illness are not to be underestimated. It strikes with military accuracy, consigning even the strongest of guys to the sofa for a complete day – or more.
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quickly after exposure to this microbial mugger, your life descends right into a miserable whirlwind of daylight television, Lemsip Max and phlegm. You to find that the symptoms of your condition are wildly exacerbated via an absence of both sympathy or chicken soup, and delivered to a fever pitch in the presence of folks that inform you that your life-threatening illness is ‘most definitely just a chilly’.
‘Pah!’, you try to respond – however the sound gets muddled on your mucus-lined throat, mutating right into a mucky, muddy ‘Paagal!’ You lie again on the sofa and shed a tear for your self and to your maligned gender (however primarily for yourself).
but let’s dangle on. sooner than we will lay out a foolproof information for averting the dreaded man flu this winter, it might seem that we wish to first unequivocally show its existence in the eyes of the fairer intercourse. For the Oxford Dictionaries shockingly classifies the noun ‘man flu’ now not only as “informal”, but also “humorous”.
“a cold or equivalent minor ailment,” the definition continues, “as experienced through a person – who is considered exaggerating the severity of the signs.”
‘How can this be so?’, I hear the up to now troubled amongst you name. Leprosy and smallpox are recognised through the arena well being business enterprise as two of the planet’s most serious health issues, however the pestilence they name masculine influenza just isn’t?
Professor John Oxford is a very talked-about virologist and top skilled on all things flu. even as he asserts that “both sexes are contaminated the identical method – by means of ingesting small droplets that include the virus after they are expelled from the nose or throat of a sufferer thru sneezing or coughing,” Oxford does well known that other elements can distinguish the male influenza expertise from the female.
“Socially, there are differences in the way that men and women understand and experience flu. however, these variations have treasured little to do with the virology of the disease. When men are sick, they have a tendency to need to be taken care of and cosseted with the aid of their partners greater than ladies do. moreover, women usually tend to have got the flu jab to begin with.
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“In every country that i do know of, ladies are higher at looking after their well being and have better hygiene requirements than males.”
then again, regardless of the consensus in the scientific group being that man flu is led to now not by way of a biological distinction between women and men, but relatively a psychological one, Professor Oxford acknowledges that there’s a precedence for ailments affecting one intercourse more detrimentally than the opposite.
“Two viruses spring to mind, however they result in extra problems in ladies, no longer males. Hepatitis E affects pregnant girls worse than men and Fulminant Hepatitis B pregnant impacts ladies generally worse than men.”
Sarah Payne is a Professor in health coverage and Gender on the university of Bristol. She too recognises that each biological and social variations play their components in affecting how completely different genders experience sickness.
“there are a variety of prerequisites which are experienced differently with the aid of women and men,” explains Payne. “One intercourse is also extra at risk because of genetic influences or differences associated to hormonal elements and the reproductive gadget.
“for most ailments, on the other hand, the reason for variations between men and women is a mixture of each intercourse and gender. as an example, organic factors may just affect susceptibility or prognosis, but the social discourses of gender additionally play a part. From get right of entry to to tools and cultural obligations to an individual’s expectations of themselves and their expectations of others, these totally different behaviours can certainly impact the contaminated.”
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So, despite there no longer being any chromosomal evidence that the chilly and flu viruses attack the male body with extra ferocity than the female, there are clear social indications to suggest now we have it tougher. We’re less more likely to at the start get vaccinated and not more hygienic than the typical girl – even though we do appear to be predisposed to wallowing.
And there may be absolutely nothing we will do about any of those issues – we’re innately and irreversibly wired that way. There are, on the other hand, pre-emptive steps which may be taken to reduce the chances of being struck by the virus in the first position.
Dr Ben Marshall is a respiratory expert with a sub-expert hobby in infection on the college sanatorium of Southampton. I picked his brains about influenza, and he shared with me the best ways to fight the contagion.
keep your distance
A simple measure, Dr Marshall extols the virtue of good distance – ie no hugging your vital sniffly different, no high-fiving your headachy mate and unquestionably no comforting your congested children. keep away from all signs of cold and flu for his or her just right as well as yours.
For, even as they may miss you during their sickness, the choice is much worse. trap the fundamental malicious program off your nearest and dearest and you’ll require them all to be at your beck and make contact with 24/7; readily available with unerring empathy, cups of tea and a steady supply of fresh tissues.
Wash your hands
another glaring one, keep your palms smooth and you’re less more likely to transmit the virus into your physique thru touching of the eyes or mouth. Dr Marshall even suggests the use of an alcohol gel to in reality take these manflu microbes to church.
however consider – now not everybody will heed this warning, as there still appears to be some men free nowadays who do not understand what these round, white porcelain bowls beneath the mirrors in bogs are. And, because of them, that suggests nothing is secure. Door handles, handrails, payphones and even visitors mild buttons will be swarming with the man flu virus, so take heed and by no means move a sink without the use of it.
Use a handkerchief
the common-or-garden hankie has the possible to save lots of your different brothers from per week of plague-like pain – expectantly a favour they will return. by way of kick-starting a culture of sneezing and coughing politely into tissues and handkerchiefs, we’ll all be better off in the end, leaving our air mercifully recent by way of condemning the person flu virus to a Kleenex grave.
Get your seven hours
research have shown that the immune machine will also be severely compromised if you do not get enough sleep. So, be this for a minor disorder such because the fashionable cold or female influenza, or a sickness on the size of man flu, getting your really useful seven hours is a must if you ought to keep away from illnesses.
There are folks who fidget and fuss at the considered spending too long in mattress, deeming the extra hours a waste of time. then again, forgo your shuteye at your own peril, as a result of if you happen to weakened immune gadget does contract the man flu virus, you’ll be seeing a lot more of that bed after all.
Have the vaccination
Dr Marshall considers the influenza vaccine the “best possible method to keep away from catching flu in inclined persons, such as the elderly, persons with medical illnesses equivalent to continual respiratory illness and babies”. however, the vaccine is not to be had to everyone – and herein lies the problem.
For if you’re not chubby, a pensioner or already combating a continual well being situation, you will not be eligible for the flu vaccination. And, as previously discussed, the person flu virus strikes all males equally – you can’t conceal from these microbes behind your raw vegan protein shake and gym membership. If the vaccine is on hand, snap it up; if no longer, pray for mercy.
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And, if all else fails and the man flu virus breaches your many traces of defence, all shouldn’t be lost. For Dr Marshall has some sage ideas about the best way to cope. “the most simple treatments are simple analgesics,” the physician orders. “So paracetamol, or over-the-counter treatments on hand at local pharmacies. you should definitely keep neatly-hydrated and warm – wrap yourself up if it’s a must to project open air. And, in additional extreme cases, mattress rest is the best recourse.
“regularly a self-limiting sickness such because the flu will final not more than per week. So, after experiencing the aforementioned constellation of symptoms, the general public might be back to standard very quickly at all.”
Marshall could say that, however the affected week can often feel like a lifetime – spent shuffling and shuffling about your home feeling more rotten than a month-outdated tomato.
a ways better to spend money on some alcohol hand gel, a bumper field of tissues and make sure to get seven hours’ worth of forty winks a night. For handiest then will you increase the very best defence against this awful sickness. best then will you have the ability to stir out of your deathbed, look up at your tearful (or presumably just exasperated) family and tell them that you simply did the whole lot you have to to combat the dreaded and really, very actual man flu.