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'Men less likely to admit they have flu'

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Researchers found that women are at greater risk of getting flu than men because they tend to spend more time around children, who are more likely to have the illness in the first place.

A nationwide flu survey in the UK by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that women were 16 per cent more likely to say they had flu symptoms, the 'BBC News' reported.

The survey data is being used to map the spread of flu across the country during the winter.

Researchers can then analyse how the virus spreads and who it affects.

Dr Alma Adler, who runs the survey project, says they wanted to find out more about gender differences and flu in this year's survey.

"We haven't found any evidence of 'man flu' yet. The biggest risk factor is having children under the age of 18 and for this reason women are more at risk of flu," Adler said.

The findings could help scientists discover if men and women experience flu differently.

John Oxford, professor of virology at Queen Mary, University of London, says there is no scientific evidence for "man flu" but there is a difference in behaviour.

First Published: Mon, November 26 2012. 15:35 IST