This flu risk is no laughing matter

OK guys, which do you want first: the bad news or the WORSE news?

Don't worry -- it all will end with good news.

For now, let me start with the bad news. As you've no doubt heard by now, this flu season is shaping up to be one of the worst in recent memory, with more people -- especially older folks -- getting sicker sooner than usual.

Tests confirm double the number of cases from this point last year, and the spread of the virus seems to be picking up speed.

If you hear someone coughing nearby... you best get out of range!

Don't count on the flu shot to pull you out of this one. It's never very good even in the best of years -- but with an even lower protection rate, it's already proving to be a poor match for this year's virus.

That's the bad news.

The worse news is for the guys. We've all heard jokes about the so-called "man flu" that is supposed to be a funny term for how men act sicker to get a little more TLC from their wives.

But a new study finds that it's no joke at all.

It's real.

An analysis of both human and animal studies finds that women are better equipped to fight off certain viruses, especially the ones that attack the respiratory system.

Guys, on the other hand, are more likely to pick up those viruses... and more likely to get sick from them after being exposed.

The differences don't end there, either.

That same little weakness in the immune system means that guys are more likely to get sicker and encounter more severe symptoms and a higher risk of complications from infections such as the flu.

Making matters even worse, men are more likely to be hospitalized for flu.

Worst of all, men are more likely to die.

Like I said, this ends with good news.

There IS a way to beat the flu, even if you're already sick with this year's nasty strain of the virus.

As I explained in this month's edition of Health Revelations, there are natural therapies to ease the symptoms, fight the infection, and recover faster. One of the best is a syrup made from elderberry, which studies show can help break the flu a full four days earlier.

The key is to start early -- within 48 hours of infection. Don't wait until you're sick to go out shopping for this stuff.

Stock up now, so it's on hand for flu season and available right when you need it.