’Tis the season for sniffles, coughs and blocked noses. That's right - the dreaded flu season is nearly upon us. As anyone who's been unfortunate enough to be saddled by those nasty flu symptoms knows, the tell-tale signs of this unpleasant virus include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles. Translation? Basically feeling absolutely rotten for at least a couple of days.
Although you can catch the flu anytime, it's more common in winter, which is why it's important for those people who are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of the flu to get the flu jab now.
To decrease the chances of catching the flu this year (because who wants to feel rotten when there's so much autumn fun to be had?), doctors recommend getting the flu jab, which is now available from your Asda pharmacist - contact your local shop for details.
The flu is a highly infectious virus, that's spread by coughing and sneezing. Although you can catch it at anytime in the year, it's more common in winter time, which is why it's important for those people who are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of the flu to get the flu jab now.
The flu is not the same as the common cold. The flu - short for influenza - is caused by a different group of viruses and the symptoms typically start more suddenly, are more severe and tend to last longer.
But what about the difference between the (regular) flu and the dreaded 'man flu'? Well, as it turns out - perhaps not much!
A recent study found that men may actually suffer more than women when they have influenza because their high levels of testosterone can weaken their immune response. Oh dear - here we were thinking that the 'man flu' was just a common cold hitting the man in your life and transforming them into bigger babies than the ones you gave birth to! But as it turns out, the 'man flu' might actually be a real thing.
Although unpleasant, the good news is that for those suffering from the flu (man flu or otherwise!), you'll usually begin to feel better within about a week. Phew! That means you should only have about seven days of dealing with the six 'man flu' symptoms below!
6 ways you can spot if the man in your life is dealing with the dreaded man flu
1. He refuses to go to the doctor
A man suffering from 'man flu' may utter phrases like 'no one has ever been this sick,' or 'I can't get out of bed,' yet somehow does not think that either of those conditions require a trip to the GP. Apparently, his self-diagnosis on the internet is enough!
2. He reverts to a child-like state
His usual diet might consist of meat and two veg but now that he's ill, all he’s craving is cheese on toast with the crusts cut off (just like mum used to make it!).
3. He’s craving lots of love and affection
Who doesn’t love a bit of extra cuddling? Erm, just not perhaps when you’re blowing your nose, sweetheart!
4. Your digital thermometer reads normal...
... but your man insists that he's never felt worse in his life. 'It doesn’t matter if the thermometer reads normal, feel my forehead!'
5. He becomes extremely lethargic
A man suffering from man flu can't possible take out the garbage, do the dishes or make the bed. Watching six hours of football on the other hand...
6. His voice becomes a whisper
'What was that, darling? You want a hug? Some medicine? A tissue? Oh, you want me to pass the remote.'
Of course, if the man in your life (or anyone) has any serious symptoms of the flu or other illness, it's vital that they seek medical attention (because Google is not a doctor!).
While anyone is susceptible to catching the flu, the NHS warns that it can be more serious for certain people such as 'people aged 65 or over, people who have a serious medical condition and pregnant women.' For those people who are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of the flu, the NHS strongly advises getting a flu jab each year.
The flu jab is available in 255 Asda stores across the country and there's no need to make an appointment (although it’s advisable to call ahead to check that an accredited Pharmacist is on duty). The NHS cautions that while no vaccine is 100% effective, people who have had the flu jab are less likely to get flu.