A number of weeks ago I wrote a less-than sympathetic column (or so I was told) about Man Flu. The terrible dose that is Man Flu, in case you didn’t read it, is the psychological condition by which men claim to suffer more from colds than women. It’s the one whereby our men folk are ‘struck down’ and must lie on the sofa and have their brows mopped while we ladies (though oft times suffering from a slight sniffle ourselves) run in all directions with chicken soup and Vicks.

There’s even a website devoted to the illness – www.manflu.org.uk – which runs under the banner ‘We’re There When She Don’t Care’ and offers information, advice, support and sympathy for all those affected by Man Flu. Following my recent column, I received a number of emails telling me I was being too harsh on the male sufferers of Man Flu. So, for any female readers who share my reservations about the veracity of the illness, I’d like to pass on to you this invaluable information I received from a colleague, to better understand what my poor man is going through the next time he’s struck down. Ladies, please take note:

1. Man-Flu is more painful than childbirth. This is an irrefutable scientific fact*.

*(Based on a survey of over 100,000 men.)

2. Man-Flu is not ‘just a cold’. It is a condition so severe that the germs from a single Man-Flu sneeze could wipe out entire tribes of people living in the rainforest. And probably loads of monkeys too.

3. Women do not contract Man-Flu. At worst they suffer from what is medically recognised as a ‘Mild Girly Sniffle’ – which, if a man caught, he would still be able to run, throw a ball, tear the phone book in half and compete in all other kinds of manly activities.

4. Men do not ‘moan’ when they have Man-Flu. They emit involuntary groans of agony that are entirely in proportion to the unbearable pain they are in.

5. Full recovery from Man-Flu will take place much quicker if their simple requests for care, sympathy and regular cups of tea are met. Is that really so much to ask? Florence Nightingale would have done it.

6. More men die each year from MFN (Man-Flu Neglect) than lots and lots of other things. (Like rabbit attacks or choking on toast).

7. Men suffering from Man-Flu want nothing more than to get out of bed and come to work, but they are too selfless to risk spreading this awful condition amongst their friends and colleagues. In this sense, they are the greatest heroes this country has ever known.

8. In 1982 scientists managed to simulate the agonising symptoms of full blown Man-Flu in a female chimp. She became so ill that her head literally fell off.

9. Man-Flu germs are more powerful than He-Man, The Thundercats and The A-Team combined. They are too strong for weak, nasty tasting ‘lady medicines’ like Lemsip, so don’t bother trying to force them on a victim of Man-Flu.

10. While it may seem like a Man-Flu sufferer is just lying around enjoying ‘Diagnosis Murder’ it is a commonly recognised medical fact that the exact pitch and frequency of Dick Van Dyke’s voice has remarkable soothing powers.

Every minute in this country one man is struck down by Man-Flu, it would seem. And we women folk are urged to offer them a cup of tea, some kind words and our undivided attention and care. Then maybe, just maybe, we can all beat this monstrous disease together. I know what I’ll be beating if the Man Flu makes another appearance in my house this winter!