Chronic fatigue syndrome

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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was a name coined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in response to an outbreak of "chronic flu-like illness" in Incline Village, Lake Tahoe in 1984-1985[1] and several outbreaks and sporadic cases in the United States during the 1980s.

Prior to Incline Village, chronic fatigue syndrome was known as myalgic encephalomyelitis. The "chronic fatigue syndrome" outbreaks of the 1980s and 1990s were likely ME outbreaks, although they differed in some respects from the 1930s-1960s outbreaks. With the development of the 1991 Oxford criteria and the 1994 Fukuda criteria for CFS, which differed in significant respects from historic descriptions of ME, CFS became a wastebasket diagnosis that included patients with ME along with those suffering from a wide range of undefined or misdiagnosed fatiguing illnesses.

Name controversy[edit | edit source]

The name Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is controversial, as many consider it stigmatizing and focusing on a symptom, chronic fatigue. For decades, patient advocates have been lobbying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to instead use the name Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).[2] Most patients and patient organizations prefer the name ME, or the hybrid ME/CFS.

  • Feb 2016, Dr Anthony Komaroff, who was part of the CDC group of clinicians who coined the name Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, said of it: "I think that was a big mistake because the name, in my opinion, and the opinion of a lot of people, it both trivializes and stigmatizes the illness. It makes it seem unimportant, maybe not even real".[3]
  • Jul 2017, the CDC changed its website for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).[4]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history