Is ME infectious?

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by Janancee on Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:58 am

Is ME infectious?

Question for Dr Alastair Miller
Fourteen years ago I became ill. Within 12 months four close friend also became ill with similar symptoms. We were all individually referred to NHS consultant neurologists. We each now have/had ( one friend sadly died last year after being bed bound for over 7 years) a DIFFERENT diagnosis. I was finally given my diagnosis this year – CFS. It seems clear to me that there was some infectious agent involved. As an infectious diseases expert with a knowledge of M.E. have you come across any clustering in this illness? Also what are your thoughts about the infectious nature of M.E.?

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by Bluebottle on Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:18 pm

Re: Is ME infectious?

"WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (W.H.O.) DEFINITION OF M.E. ME/CFS is an acquired organic, pathophysiological, multi-systemic illness that occurs in both sporadic and
epidemic forms. "

The first recorded outbreaks of M.E. were in epidemic form such as at the Royal Free Hospital in 1955, and some of those patients remain ill. However, the neurological illness M.E. has now been so confused with chronic fatigue (a symptom of many illnesses )that I think the medical profession have lost sight of the fact that in its severe form M.E. is known to be infectious.

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by kittycat2000 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:22 am

Re: Is ME infectious?

With regard to the well documented case of the Royal Free Hospital outbreak, I developed M.E while working in an NHS hospital in 1996. At this time several members of staff throughout the trust, from admin to nursing were off sick with an undiagnosed condition. The husband of a colleague who worked in a different hospital himself was diagnosed with M,E at the same time as myself but fortunately he was able to return to work after around 18 months. I have not been so lucky, I have been unable to work since this time and recently my condition has worsened. I firmly believe that while M.E is not contagious in itself, that there is some as yet unidentified virus which some of our immune systems are unable to fight.

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