Erich D. Ryll, M.D., was an Infectious Disease Specialist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Davis, California. Dr. Ryll was appointed chair of the committee to investigate the 1975 Sacramento outbreak of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) that occurred at Mercy San Juan Hospital, California, US. He coined the term "Infectious Venulitis" or (IVN) to describe the outbreak, though he later considered it a "variant" of ME/CFS. The reason he thought this outbreak was different was because damage to the vascular system was not described in older reports of ME/CFS.
Dr. Ryll followed the patients from this outbreak starting at its onset in 1975 until his death in 2014, making him the longest clinical investigator of ME/CFS in the history of the U.S. He readily admitted, "Because the complaints of patients were so many and often seemingly bizarre, I often attempted to disclaim them as being real. But I learned that you patients were always right and I was always wrong. In studying this disease, one must always have an open mind. This disease teaches the physician to be humble."
In 1984, Dr. Ryll was invited to New Zealand to consult on the 1984 Tapanui & West Otago Outbreak and concluded that this outbreak was the same illness as the 1975 Sacramento outbreak. He, also, believed that epidemic neuromyasthenia, Sick Building Syndrome, Gulf War Illness, epidemic phlebodynia (an epidemic of a painful vein disease in the 1950s and 1960s), as well as many cases of fibromyalgia, are all variations of the same illness.
Notable studies[edit | edit source]
- 2011, "A 30-Year Historic Review of a Community Hospital Epidemic Outbreak Characterized by Venous Inflammation"
Learn more[edit | edit source]
- Patient information handout by Dr. Ryll on Infectious Venulitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
- Obituary: Sacramento’s Dr. Erich Ryll, 93, early expert on chronic fatigue syndrome.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - A controversial term, invented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, that generally refers to a collection of symptoms as “fatigue”. There have been multiple attempts to come up with a set of diagnostic criteria to define this term, but few of those diagnostic criteria are currently in use. Previous attempts to define this term include the Fukuda criteria and the Oxford criteria. Some view the term as a useful diagnostic category for people with long-term fatigue of unexplained origin. Others view the term as a derogatory term borne out of animus towards patients. Some view the term as a synonym of myalgic encephalomyelitis, while others view myalgic encephalomyelitis as a distinct disease.
myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.