This year’s flu outbreak is being described as a particularly “nasty flu season”.
Aussie flu – the H3N2 strain of the influenza virus – is just one of the several strains circulating in the UK at the moment, and the numbers of people being admitted to hospital with flu and dying from the virus appear to be rising.
While the symptoms of Aussie flu have been likened to that of normal flu, but more severe, we’re reminded of another ‘flu’ virus which seems to particularly affect men badly – ‘man flu’.
So how do the two compare and how do symptoms differ?
Dr Andrew Thornber, Chief Medical Officer at the Now Healthcare Group, said the first thing to note is that Aussie flu is much more serious than ‘man flu’.
He said: “There is no real evidence to suggest there is anything such as ‘man flu’. In most cases the symptoms are similar to a common cold (sneezing, coughing, head cold and runny nose) and not caused by the influenza virus.
So is ‘man flu’ really worse than normal flu?
Dr Thornber said: “Recent medical research does indicate than men take longer to recover from colds and flu and have more side effects than females, hence why the term ‘man flu’ was created.
“The symptoms of flu are much worse and anyone with the flu will really feel unwell for a week or more, where as it is usually for more of a cold/man flu.”
Best cure for man flu
“It would be the same as for any common cold symptoms. Plenty of rest, lost of drinks, stay warm and take paracetamol.”
The NHS outlines nine symptoms which indicate you have the flu:
- A sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
- Aching body
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- Dry, chesty cough
- Sore throat
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhoea or tummy pain
- Nausea and being sick
How to treat flu
To help you get better more quickly, the NHS advises you to:
- Rest and sleep
- Keep warm
- Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)