Manflu is one of the not so hardy perennials of domestic debate. Are men justified in claiming unlimited sympathy when they retire to bed with flu on the grounds that they actually suffer more than their wives or partners or is this self-serving myth? The dispute has even popped up as part of the ongoing Guardian vs. Mail sniping. Several years ago the Mail ran a story about an immune system study, claiming it showed manflu was real because of evidence that males had feebler immune systems.
Ben Goldacre and the NHS choices site rubbished the story on the grounds that it involved GM mice who had been infected with bacteria – rather a virus – and very few humans had the gene involved anyway. So no excuses for burrowing under the duvet.
Today there’s a story of mine in the Daily Mail that updates the male/female immune differences saga and reveals an intriguing twist to it.