COVID-19 and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis? Dr. Fauci Points Out Connections

According to a story from, Dr. Anthony Fauci was recently asked a question about what was being done to address so-called COVID-19 “long haulers,” and their potential risk of developing myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also called chronic fatigue syndrome. These are patients who, despite being cleared of the virus, are unable to function normally and suffer from severe fatigue and inability to focus.

About Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, is a rare condition which is most characterized by long term fatigue and other symptoms which severely impact a person’s ability to fulfill daily tasks. The exact cause of the syndrome is poorly understood. Risk factors may include family history, low physical fitness, old age, mental health problems, and allergies. Women are also more likely to get myalgic encephalomyelitis than men. The characteristic symptom is severe, persistent fatigue that has no definitive cause and is not resolved with rest; other symptoms include difficulty sleeping, worsening of symptoms following exercise, night sweats, sensitivities to certain foods, noise, or odors, muscle and joint pain, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and sore throat. Symptoms may appear gradually or suddenly, and in severe cases can leave a patient bedridden. Some treatments may include energy management strategies such as pacing and changes in diet. To learn more about chronic fatigue syndrome, click here.

Can COVID-19 Infection Cause ME?

Dr. Fauci’s response indicates the possibility that some of these patients are in fact developing a syndrome highly similar, or functionally identical to, myalgic encephalomyelitis, which is commonly reported to begin following infections:

“…you can see people who’ve recovered who really do not get back to normal…that they have things that are highly suggestive of myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome. Brain fog, fatigue, and difficulty in concentrating…so this is something we really need to seriously look at because it very well might be a post-viral syndrome associated with covid-19.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci

There is still very little that is well understood about the condition and the fact that it could be appearing following COVID-19 infection can be added to the exceedingly long list of concerning developments that continue to surround the pandemic and the faltering US response.

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