“Long COVID” Has Brought New Attention to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

According to a story from PR Newswire, Solve M.E. is gathering virtually on Capitol Hill for its 5th Annual Advocacy Week, starting April 19th. A record number of people are advocating at this event, and part of the reason may be due to the phenomena of Long COVID, or cases in which patients report a variety of residual symptoms for months after the initial infection. These symptoms often show strong overlap, or are even identical to, those experienced by myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

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. Females are also more likely to get myalgic encephalomyelitis than males. 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 myalgic encephalomyelitis, click here.

Greater Numbers, Greater Advocacy

With over a thousand people signed up, the number of attendees has tripled since last year. 60 percent of them say this is their first time trying to speak to someone in Congress. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been an important public figure who has drawn the line from long COVID to myalgic encephalomyelitis:

“They have things that are highly suggestive of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: brain fog, fatigue, difficulty concentrating. This is something we really need to look at.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci

Around 2.5 million people in the US have myalgic encephalomyelitis. Meanwhile, long-term effects have been recorded in as much as 35 percent of COVID-19 cases. Another 2.5 million cases of myalgic encephalomyelitis are estimated to have been caused by the pandemic. The impact on the US economy over the next decade is estimated at around $4 trillion.

To learn more about Solve M.E., click here.

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