Yuppie Flu is dead

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"Yuppie Flu" is Dead

CDC: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is Widespread, Severe

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may affect up to 50 times the number previously estimated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), reported Dr. William Reeves, chief of Viral Exanthems and Herpesvirus Branch at CDC. Dr. Reeves, Harvard Medical School's Anthony Komaroff and the Oregon Health Sciences University's Dr. Mark Loveless provided testimony at a May 12, 1995 Congressional Briefing sponsored by Representative John Porter (R-IL) and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). Much new information was presented to dispel the popular belief that CFS is a benign, self-limited illness that only affects whites with high incomes.

  • Dr. Reeves stated that 76-220 per 100,000 Americans have a CFS-like illness. Earlier CDC estimates pinned the number at 4-9 cases per 100,000.

  • New CDC estimates indicate that CFS is twice as common in the Afro-American and native American populations as in the white population.

  • This CDC study also reports that the average income of sufferers identified is $15,000 per year.

  • CDC officials have recently added CFS to the list of Priority-1 New and Reemerging Infectious Diseases. Other illnesses listed as Priority-1 include E.coli and tuberculosis.

  • Dr. Reeves further stated that, according to CDC's initial study, only 12 percent of patients ever recover. But, he clarified that overall the recovery rate may be as high as 45 percent, stressing that chances for recovery substantially diminish after five years of illness.

  • Dr. Mark Loveless, an infectious disease specialist who runs an AIDS and CFS clinic at OHSU, stated that a CFIDS patient feels every day significantly the same as an AIDS patient feels two months before death. His statement was supported by data from clinical research conducted at OHSU and by the experience of other CFS experts.

  • Dr. Anthony Komaroff, a CFS researcher, clinician and principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health-funded CFS research center, reported on the serious damage to the brain found in patients with CFS, apparently causing many body systems to malfunction.

  • In six months CDC has responded to over 65,000 requests for copies of the newly revised case definition for CFS published in the December 15, 1994 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a serious and complex illness characterized by incapacitating fatigue, neurological problems and a constellation of other debilitating symptoms. The CFIDS Association of America, which organized and provided speakers for the Congressional Briefing, is the nation's largest and most active charitable organization dedicated to conquering CF(ID)S.

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