Parliamentary Question: WHO classification of ME, 1 March 2011

The contribution of Minister for Public Health Paul Burstow to the Private Member’s debate on ME on 2 February 2011 has led to another Parliamentary Question on the subject.

The Countess of Mar tabled a written question that asked the Government further to the Minister’s statement that the World Health Organisation described myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and that this was the convention followed by the Department, in light of the fact that the WHO International Classification of Diseases 10 lists ME as a neurological disease with post viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) under G93.3 and CFS as a mental health condition under F48.0 and that the latter specifically excludes PVFS, whether they will adhere to that classification.

In a written answer sent to the Countess on 1 March 2011, health minister Earl Howe replied:

The Department will continue to use the composite term chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) for this condition, or spectrum of disease, as suggested by the Chief Medical Officer in his 2002 report. We recognise the condition as neurological in nature.

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Mr Burstow’s response to Ian Swales MP on the same subject on 16 February, 2011.

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