Science says the “Man Flu” is real, just in time for Christmas!

Are you a man? Ever been knocked down by the flu and sarcastically tended to by the women of the house? Had your flu symptoms mockingly compared to child birth? Well, Merry Christmas! Science says your wife has to apologize and take it all back:

That’s right, gents. Viruses may have (read: definitely have, no doubt about it) evolved to hit men harder than women, because women are more valuable hosts. Now that I think of it, this might finally be the news that gets your crazy uncle to believe in evolution. Another Christmas miracle!

Hang with me while we get some obligatory science out of the way, after which we’ll return for more triumphant gloating.

From the article:

Many infections cause more severe illness in men than women. Men infected with tuberculosis are 1.5 times more likely to die than women; men infected with human papillomavirus are five times more likely to develop cancer than women; and men infected with Epstein-Barr virus are at least twice as likely to develop Hodgkin’s lymphoma as women.

Many think this pattern is because of differences between the sexes’ immune systems. But another explanation is that women are more valuable hosts. Women can pass infections to their children during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, so there’s an evolutionary pressure on viruses to be less harmful to them, say Francisco Úbeda and Vincent Jansen at Royal Holloway University of London.

Man flu is real? Hallelujah, holy s***! Where’s the Tylenol?

So, I don’t want to hear any arguments about this. It’s basically settled. When I get the flu, I want two things and two things only: the remote, and soup. Maybe a wheelchair to the bathroom. Merry Christmas!

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