We’ve all heard of the dreaded Man Flu in our time, but a team of scientists in Rochdale have finally catalogued the full effects.

“The slightest unpleasant exertion could prove instantly fatal,” head researcher Dr Ivor Nedake explained. “If adrenaline is released without a corresponding rise in dopamine, the pleasure hormone, then the sufferer is likely to keel over and die in agony at any moment. Think of AIDS, Cancer and Ebola, put them all together and square it, and you’re still barely scratching the surface of how bad Man Flu really is. Trust me, I know, I’m recovering from a bad bout of it myself.”

Symptoms famously include the inability to perform household chores, but apparently this is a defence mechanism to protect from even worse consequences.

It has been traced to the Y chromosome, so women are mercifully immune.

Curiously, one group of men found to be immune are single men. Test subject Billy Nometz, who lives on his own and has no lovelife of any kind, was exposed to the virus at full, but has felt no ill effects in the ensuing weeks. “A good thing, too,” he said when interviewed. “I can’t afford to get it. Who’s going to look after me if I go down with it?”

Not all are convinced though. Dr Shirley Yerjokin remains skeptical. “If something is that serious, why would it discriminate so specifically? You’d think there would be the odd woman who would get it every now and then, but you never hear about it.”

Dr Nedake has the answer, apparently. “There is an equivalent strain in women, which loosens their jaw and makes them talk incessantly in a nagging tone. I’ve never heard of a man who got that, but my wife has been suffering from it for years.”

His wife, coincidentally, is Dr Yerjokin, and the two of them are currently in the process of getting a divorce. We wish them luck – and a speedy recovery from their respective ailments.