Following years of anecdotal evidence, an in-depth scientific study has revealed that there is actually “a bit of that going around at the moment” as people across Melbourne deal with an array of medical ailments. The study, conducted by a local university, analysed the casual conversations of over 5,000 people over a 12-month period, and then cross-checked the assertions made in those conversations with actual medical diagnoses in the same time.

For lead researcher Professor Graeme Timmons, this was a dream project, after years of listening to non-medical professionals tell other non-medical professionals that their ailment was in-line with the ailments of many people within the population. Speaking to The Watsonia Bugle, Professor Timmons said, “For years I’ve overheard people make grand assumptions about the general health of the local populace, I needed to find out for sure.”

In fact, Professor Timmons was so sceptical of the phenomenon that he double- and triple-checked the results of his study, before concluding that, yes, on at least 85 percent of the ailments discussed there was a bit of that going around at the moment. Reflecting on the findings, he said, “At first I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was something that people said to make others feel better about being sick. But it turns out that it’s almost always true. While it’s not a great sign for the health of our city, it’s an intriguing scenario.”