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Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:56 AM

Do men and women experience flu differently?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20452192


He will be in bed soon with a damp towel on his brow...


Are men unfairly castigated for having "man flu" and running to their sick beds at the merest sign of a sniffle?

Research suggests that women are at greater risk of getting flu than men because they tend to spend more time around children, who are more likely to have a flu-like illness in the first place.

A nationwide flu survey carried out by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine during last winter found that women were 16% more likely to say they had flu symptoms.

So is it really women who are making all the fuss about being unwell?

11 replies, 1618 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Do men and women experience flu differently? (Original post)
xchrom Nov 2012 OP
femmocrat Nov 2012 #1
snot Nov 2012 #2
Ilsa Nov 2012 #3
IDoMath Nov 2012 #4
mzteris Nov 2012 #5
IDoMath Nov 2012 #9
Warpy Nov 2012 #6
SheilaT Nov 2012 #7
trotsky Nov 2012 #8
SheilaT Nov 2012 #10
trotsky Nov 2012 #11

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:24 AM

1. I don't know, but I soldier on with mild symptoms. My husband turns into a whiny invalid.

I work around children, too.... 800 of them! I rarely catch a cold, never had the actual flu. I do get a flu shot every year.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:26 AM

2. Ditto.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:54 AM

3. I hear you. If I don't have a doctor

telling hubby I'm on my deathbed, he expects me to be up taking care of everyone. But just let him get a scratchy throat, and one would need to bring out the cheese and crackers to go with all that "whine".

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:05 PM

4. You might regret that characterization someday

 

Having suffered chronic pain since I was 7, I can tell you that there are many flavors and everyone reacts differently. The same guy that gets floored by a flu might ignore critical symptoms of heart attack or appendicitis. Especially when we grow up being told to "suck it up" or stop being "whiny."

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Response to IDoMath (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:27 PM

5. here's the thing

if it were an exception, it would be different.

Problem is, it seems pretty universal. A woman gets sick, she keeps on taking care of the house and everything in it. The man gets a freaking hangnail and he's dying.

Seen it up close and personal too many times with too many different men from too many different parts of the country and walks of life. Have heard same from hundreds of women.

I'm sorry you've suffered, I do not mean to make light of that at all. And yes, some people do have legitimate reasons for reacting differently. But this, this is different.

My 8 months pregnant sister took care of her four year old and two year old while she had the flu, throwing up, etc. Her husband, "had a fever" - never threw up and took to bed for two days. And he was a GOOD guy.

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Response to mzteris (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:17 PM

9. I recognize the pattern

 

We have a lot of cultural baggage fed to us to condition how we respond to pain and suffering based on gender. Just remember to calibrate that against the individual. Guys are taught to ignore isolated pains but not systemic pain. That idea that we can't show weakness in front of other males actually encourages us to "go into hiding" when we are feeling sick.

Conversely, I keep trying to get my wife to take a day off when sick but she "can't" so she suffers for a week instead of a day.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just be individuals?

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Response to IDoMath (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:01 PM

6. Apples and oranges

When they get the sniffles, they take to their beds in full drama, expecting Mom to take care of them and make it all better, even if she's having trouble deciding which end goes in the toilet first herself. It's entitlement at work again.

However, try to get them to a doctor for those sniffles and they balk. Admitting any sort of physical weakness to another man seems to be the big taboo. They wait for the Big One and 50% of them won't live through it.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:15 PM

7. I'm not sure I'd use the word "experience" as in they experience the flu differently.

I'd suggest that even though we may subjectively experience various things differently, the symptoms of flu are pretty clear-cut.

But yes, it has been my experience that many men do not soldier on as readily as women do in similar circumstances.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:43 PM

8. Except for those who have asymptomatic flu, right? n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:10 PM

10. Knock it off.

Just because a person never gets the flu does not automatically mean that person is an asymptomatic carrier.

Some people don't get the flu. That shouldn't be so difficult to understand.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #10)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:22 PM

11. I never claimed that. Nice straw man.

Do you believe it's possible to be an asymptomatic carrier of the flu virus? Yes or no.

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