Researchers Say COVID-19 Will Lead to Surge in Chronic Illness, ME Sufferers Speak Out.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Researchers Say COVID-19 Will Lead to Surge in Chronic Illness, ME Sufferers Speak Out.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Adriane Tillman 
[email protected]

Some post-COVID patients are not recovering as expected, and researchers are predicting the pandemic will lead to a surge in long-term chronic illness, including an uptick in cases of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME  – also known as chronic fatigue syndrome or ME/CFS), a debilitating illness that affects more than 1 million Americans.

On May 12th, #MEAction will hold a global #MillionsMissing demonstration calling for governments to urgently respond to prepare for this impending crisis.

A large body of research shows that long-term illness and disability can be triggered by viral infections, like COVID-19. Up to 80% of cases of ME are initiated by a viral infection.

“Coronavirus leading to more cases of ME will happen for sure, unfortunately,” said Dr. Alain Moreau of Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec. “We need to be ready for the next wave.”  

Whitney Fox, 31, who developed ME after contracting the H1N1 virus, is terrified for this next wave of ME patients knowing how difficult it is to get a timely diagnosis and care. Fox pushed through her symptoms of ME for nine years to the point where she now struggles to even read or watch TV without triggering cognitive symptoms. 

“It is imperative that post-COVID patients are believed when they say they are not recovering,” Fox said. “If I hadn’t ignored my body’s warning signs, I don’t think I would be as disabled as I am now.”   

Studies show that when a severe infection sweeps through the population, ME will often follow. 

Studies have shown that symptoms common in ME frequently occur longterm in people who contracted at least two previous coronaviruses, SARS (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21435231) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)(http://www.koreabiomed.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=1731).
Likewise, this study on Epstein-Barr virus, Q Fever, and Ross River virus showed that 12% of subjects across the board met ME/CFS criteria at 6 months after clearing the infection (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16950834); and another study of people with mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus) produced similar numbers (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11063953). 20% of patients with West Nile Virus (n=140) met the criteria for ME/CFS six months after tests first returned negative for West Nile, according to this study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25062274).

In addition, COVID-19 is hitting racial and ethnic minorities and those of low socioeconomic status the hardest; yet this demographic is also the least likely to be diagnosed with ME (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15534161) even where they meet the diagnostic criteria. The crisis of care will be magnified in these communities.

“We are not out of the woods, but we also need to be ready for what is coming next,” said Moreau.

Read more about the potential for COVID-19 to cause chronic illness, including ME: https://www.meaction.net/2020/05/10/researchers-expect-covid-19-will-cause-surge-of-chronic-illness-including-me/   

—————————————————————————————————————————–

About #MillionsMissing

#MillionsMissing is an international movement fighting for equality for people with ME,spearheaded by #MEAction. This is our fifth global #MillionsMissing demonstration.  www.meaction.net

#MEAction is an international network of patients and allies empowering each other to fight for health equality for ME.

Stories from the #MillionsMissing: https://www.meaction.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/SMALLFORMAT_98_ProfilesMM2.pdf

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on google
Google+
Share on email
Email

1 thought on “Researchers Say COVID-19 Will Lead to Surge in Chronic Illness, ME Sufferers Speak Out.”

  1. Sandra Lilleoien

    It’s horrible. Wouldn’t wish it on people…. but maybe it will help in funding research. I hope that in the long run something positive can come from this.

    Doctor’s being educated about it?
    Faster and accurate diagnosis?
    Better treatments?
    A cure?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

CDC website in browser tab

Sign on to #MEAction’s response to flawed CDC review

MEAction Response to CDC #MEAction has released a draft response to the CDC’s flawed systematic evidence review on ME/CFS treatments. Sign our form by August 15, 2021 to have your name added to #MEAction’s response before we formally submit it as a public comment on August 16. We need to demonstrate strong community opposition in

Read More »

Connecting Black People with ME and/or long Covid in the UK

Darren Randon, a poet, qualified teacher, community builder, facilitator, host and co-founder of Well Versed Ink from Thornton Heath, is launching a new group aimed at supporting Black and Black-mixed people with ME and/or long Covid in the UK. The group plans to create a safe space to share experiences and create community with the

Read More »

Help keep our work going

We rely on donations from people like you to keep fighting for equality for people with ME.

Donate

Get actions alerts and news direct to your inbox

You can choose what you want to be kept up to date on.

Subscribe
Scroll to Top