Flu season is officially underway and for parents that means it’s only a matter of time before you and your spouse are both sick at the same time (welcome to the germ jungle). According to research presented last month at the IDWeek 2016, an academic conference for advancing science and improving care, moms might actually experience harsher colds and flus than dads. Simply put, that’s what all the yelling was about.
Researchers looked at the cold and flu symptoms of 777 men and women who were treated between 2009 and 2015 at 5 military treatment facilities across the U.S., including both military and their family members. Once participants were swabbed to figure out what type of infection they had, they kept journals about their symptoms and the severity of them on a scale of one to 3. While they found that men and women were infected by viruses at the same rates, women suffered worse symptoms for longer periods of time — but only from day 3 and beyond of being sick. For day one and 2, you both feel terrible. So perhaps dads don’t get less sick, they just get better faster (because someone has to).
Experts suspect that this could be due to hormonal differences, and how they influence how your immune system reacts to infections. Or it could be due to the fact that the data was based on self-reporting, and men may be more prone to experiencing from the symptom of being tough as hell. Still, that doesn’t mean your spouse is overreacting either, and you definitely don’t want to suggest that — especially if you ever need someone to bring you chicken soup again.
[H/T] Live Science