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Feature Christmas 2017: All Creatures Great and Small

The science behind “man flu”

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 11 December 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5560

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Re: The science behind “man flu”

Or is it an adaption to prehistoric roles? A man with a cold would become a liability to the group hunting for meat while the women could continue to gather berries. Other observations support this hypothesis. Women gatherers identify colour for ripeness and have the wherewithall to check the other side of the bush for ready fruit - in modern terms they will accurately recall the colour of a car whereas men (whose ancient role was to identify prey in the distance) will describe make and model based on shape; how on earth single modern men survive at Christmas without a female navigator of the fridge is a mystery beyond scientific enquiry!

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 December 2017
Andrew J Ashworth
GP & Occupational Physician