It’s here: the season every spouse and significant other dreads. You’ve heard of flu season, but have you heard of man-flu season - the debilitating infection exclusive to male members of the human species that often strikes without warning?
What Is Man Flu?
Quite simply, 'man flu' is a catchy and fun way of saying that when men catch a cold, their symptoms are often nearly as bad, or experienced to a similar degree, as if they had the flu.
However, the man flu epidemic brings up an important point. Flu season is here and it typically hits its peak between December and February. Do you know the difference between having the actual flu versus a common cold?
Flu Symptoms Include:
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
These symptoms are usually abrupt but typically start with the first three (body aches, fever and chills) followed by cough, sore throat and congestion.
Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. There is no treatment for the common cold, but medicine is usually directed to treat the symptoms. If someone you know is complaining of the man flu, you can always apply extra TLC (Tender, Loving Care).
How Can You Protect Yourself?
- Get vaccinated before peak flu season! CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Flu shots take about two weeks to provide protection.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- These vitamins and supplements may help protect your immune system this flu season. Be sure to check in with your primary care physician before starting any new supplements
If flu symptoms arise, contact a medical provider who may prescribe an anti-viral medication specifically for flu.
Also, regardless of which type of illness you're combatting, it's important to fully recover before returning to school or work. Compare your signs against our checklist to reduce the risk of infection to others.
For more tips and advice, check out our Flu Season Survival Guide.