Listen up, guys. The "man flu" is real and now there’s science to back it up. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have determined that women are shielded from the more aggressive flu symptoms because of the female hormone estrogen, the Daily Mail reports. So when a guy complains about feeling like he's near death, he might not be exaggerating...much.
The research team looked at nasal cells (where the virus is commonly infected) of both men and women and saw fewer replication—meaning less severe symptoms—in the women. They got the idea to conduct the experiment after previous studies revealed estrogen has antiviral properties against HIV, Ebola and even hepatitis.
According to lead study author Dr. Sabra Klein, these findings could lead to estrogen as a treatment for the flu. "We see clinical potential in the finding that therapeutic estrogens that are used for treating infertility and menopause may also protect against the flu," she said.
You're welcome, men.