1985 Lyndonville outbreak
Lyndonville, New York, a small, farming town near the southern shore of Lake Ontario, was the site of an outbreak of ME/CFS in the mid to late 1980's. Dr. David Bell, a private practice physician, began seeing numerous patients come in with the same baffling symptoms. In many ways his story mirrors that of Dr. Daniel Peterson, with the 1984 Incline Village chronic fatigue syndrome outbreak, in that he did not receive help from the state health department nor the CDC and had to seek out answers himself. A chance encounter at a medical conference brought Bell and Peterson together, starting a life-long collaboration to solve this medical mystery.
The outbreak started when 8 children went sledding together and all came down with a flu-like illness later classified as chronic fatigue syndrome. In the next couple years, more than 200 patients, including 46 children and adolescents, were affected during the outbreak.