An article written in the United Kingdom reports that U.S. researchers have found compelling evidence linking CFS to a stomach virus.
“The researchers examined 165 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome – also known as ME (myalgic encephalitis) – and long-standing gut complaints.
More than 80% of samples were infected with an enterovirus, compared with just seven of 34 samples taken from healthy volunteers.
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.”
This explains why many people with CFS have IBS and other intestional issues going on. The article also says that Enteroviruses infect the bowel and cause severe, short-lasting respiratory and gut infections. The researchers found that in a significant proportion of patients the initial enteroviral infection had occurred many years earlier.
Dr Charles Shepherd, medical adviser to the ME Association, said the study would re-open the debate into whether persistent viral infection plays a role in the condition.
He said: “We know from previous research that enteroviruses, the group of viruses being investigated in this study, can trigger ME/CFS in some people.
“There is also some evidence that enteroviral infection can then persist in various parts of the body including muscle and brain – a finding that could help to explain why muscle and brain symptoms are so characteristic of the illness.
“The new clearly adds weight to this theory. The findings also raise the question of whether antiviral drug therapy would be beneficial in this particular sub-group of ME/CFS patients.”