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Women Fight Infections Better? Study Finds 'Man Flu' Really May Exist, Thanks To Estrogen

LOS ANGELES (  —  Women can give birth and be back on their feet in a couple of minutes. In some cultures, they endure the pain and they're back on their feet in no time.

And some men get a hangnail and whine for days.

It might not be your imagination that men are a ... bit more dramatic when it comes to sickness and health.

KCAL9's Jennifer Kastner reports from the Adult and Pediatric Care Unit in North Hollywood.

She says there is a reason men can be a little needy when they get the flu.

Dirk Voetberg was there feeling under the weather, but he wasn't griping about it.

"My wife says I'm actually a good patient." he said.

Voetberg would be an exception to the stereotype.

Lots of men have been accused of coming down with the "Man Flu." It's like the flu that women also get, Kastner reports, but men who contract men flu will often be diagnosed as more whiny, fussy and demanding. Translation: Drama queens.

"They want their mom to come help them. They're sick. They don't want to clean, they're snotty. We're grumpy. It's our cranky time," says Terren Nicholas.

More research is necessary but a new study from Johns Hopkins suggests estrogen helps women fight infection better. So it is possible to explain why women are better at being sick.

Dr. Julina Howell says, every male patient is, of course, different.

"I definitely feel that they (men) take it a little bit harder than females do," Dr. Howell says.

But the need for support from wives, moms and girlfriends tends to be the same.

"They're kind of massaging them, holding their hand, just trying to pamper them as much as possible actually," said the doctor.

"My dad has it, " said one woman, "I think he gets like babied a lot when he's sick, by my mom."

"I can attest to it. The man flu is probably real," said one man.

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