The man flu struggle might be real, says one researcher | Science News

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The man flu struggle might be real, says one researcher

A researcher reviews the evidence for gender bias among flu viruses

12:00pm, December 22, 2017
man in bed with the "flu"

POBRECITO “Man flu” is often used as a pejorative term for when men overstate their cold symptoms as flu symptoms. But the idea that men may experience more intense flu symptoms than women isn’t totally without scientific merit.

Cold weather often brings with it hot takes on so-called man flu. That’s the phenomenon in which the flu hits men harder than women — or, depending on who you ask, when men exaggerate regular cold symptoms into flu symptoms. In time for the 2017–2018 flu season, one researcher has examined the scientific evidence for and against man flu.

“The concept of man flu, as commonly defined, is potentially unjust,” Kyle Sue, a clinician at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s, Canada, writes December 11 in BMJ. Motivated by his own memorable bout of flu, he says, Sue began looking into man flu research and summarizes the work in a review article that’s part of BMJ’s Christmas issue, which traditionally features

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