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.


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


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