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An interesting update to the bear flu

Hey there Guys,

Just an interesting update on the bear flu post that I created.

There has been some media attention to Professor John Upman, a Brisbane based researcher with a strong interest in asthma and the effect flu virii have on health.

In his recent studies he has found that hormonal differences between men and women mean that women seem to have the edge on men when it comes to mounting an immune response to the main flu virus “rhinovirus”.

To quote Professor Upman:

The research team, led by Professor John Upham, found that young women make a much stronger immune response to rhinoviruses than young men. These differences disappear after menopause, so they are probably regulated by sex hormones.

Professor Upham said that these findings were crucially important for finding new ways of combating rhinoviruses.

“While these viruses are just a nuisance in healthy people, they can make people with asthma or other chronic lung diseases very unwell,” he said.

“In our efforts to find new ways to prevent these infections, we need to take into account the effects of hormones, and how they affect the immune system.”

So perhaps there is some validity to the belief of “man flu”.

For those with a more sociology interest there is some interesting research on illness behaviour in men that indicates that when ill while women tend to “flock” or join as a group for protection, men on the other hand tend to isolate to reduce the risk of attack while their strength is reduced.

From a “genetic meme” perspective it’s kind of interesting, but who knows really…

All I know is that when sick I am a bloody irritable bear.

Probably best to avoid me anyways, lol.

You guys be good.

Dr George