Connection Long Covid ME/CFS

Daily Telegraph covers Long Covid and ME/CFS

This article mainly covers Long Covid and the promotion of a new book on Long Covid by Professor Danny Altmann and Gez Medinger. The article is behand a paywall and the link is shown below

Extract from section on ME/CFS:

“For decades, controversy has surrounded ME/CFS, with some sceptics dismissing it as hysteria, partly because it’s a relapsing/remitting condition, so sufferers may superficially appear well, but also because, as with Long Covid, roughly 70 per cent of patients are women (a fact attributed to the more “activatable” female immune system). Put bluntly, they were simply not believed. In the late 1980s, a thesis grew that patients could be helped through a specific type of cognitive behavioural therapy combined with graded exercise therapy (GET), which was adopted as official guidance in 2011. 

The recommendation was met with horror from many ME/CFS sufferers, who argue that GET is harmful, rather than helpful; new guidance issued last October advises against it, while the Equality Act 2010 protects those with the condition. Even so, sufferers can still face difficulty getting help. One woman I spoke to has received no help from the NHS in the 10 years since her diagnosis, and her GP refused to refer her to one of the few specialist clinics; an actress, she also kept her diagnosis a secret for fear of damaging her chances of being hired. 

The many parallels between the two conditions are intriguing patients, researchers and campaigners on both sides. The ME Association has offered to advise Long Covid clinics on how best to treat patients with ME/CFS-like symptoms, and welcomed patients onto its message boards. Meanwhile, the money that is flooding into Long Covid research raises hopes that more may be learnt about the illness, as well as conditions such as the Epstein Barr herpes virus.”

Please note that while we provided some background information we were not given any opportunity to check the copy and make corrections – e.g the official NICE guidance regarding CBT and GET was published in 2007

Dr Charles Shepherd,
Trustee and
Hon. Medical Adviser
to the ME Association.

Dr Charles Shepherd
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