What the Coronavirus Teaches Us About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What the Coronavirus Teaches Us About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

As more and more people suffer from “long-haul coronavirus,” interest in research for myalgic encephalomyelitis/ chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) grows. Finally, scientists want to answer the question:

Why, exactly, [can] a viral illness can last forever?

What Are ‘Long-Haulers?’

After contracting the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), about 10% of coronavirus patients suffer lasting symptoms, such as fatigue, brain fog, and chronic pain for months on end. If these so-called “long-haulers” have symptoms that continue for 6 months or longer, they will meet the diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS. Most people with existing ME/CFS also developed their condition after suffering viral infections. Imagine having a cold or flu that never goes away – that’s what approximately 2.5 million Americans deal with every day.

A ‘Contested Illness’

ME/CFS is known in the medical community as a “contested illness,” which means some medical professionals do not believe the condition exists at all. As such, people with ME/CFS have a difficult time securing a diagnosis and treatment. With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, thousands of people are exhibiting the symptoms of ME/CFS, sparking renewed interest and research dollars within the medical and scientific communities.

Because COVID-19 is a closely monitored virus, doctors and scientists cannot pretend long-haul coronavirus does not exist. If they take this condition seriously and make the connection with ME/CFS, science may get to the bottom of both conditions and find out why, for some people, a simple viral infection lingers for decades.

Group Support

While thousands of people developing a chronic condition at the same time is nothing short of a tragedy, people with ME/CFS have rarely had others understand what they are going through. Now, long-haulers have the attention and support of the entire United States. This large group of patients is also an opportunity for studies, and many long-haulers have already volunteered.

As TIME puts it:

Belief in long-haul coronavirus could translate to belief in other contested illnesses

We Believe You

Many patients with ME/CFS are hopeful that the link between long-haul coronavirus and their condition will interrupt the long tradition of doubt and disbelief. While they are pleased by the attention currently pointed at ME/CFS, they wonder where that attention was for them.

One patient puts it best:

’I’m very hopeful that this opens the door to more research,’ she says, ‘and [vindication for] all of us who got the flu and had a door closed on our lives.’”

At Dabdoub Law Firm, we want you to know that we believe you. For over 20 years, our firm has been helping clients with ME/CFS prove their medical conditions and access the time and resources they need to manage them. We have helped many people get short-term and long-term disability benefits to help with their ME/CFS, and we can help you, too!

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Disability insurance law is complicated. If you are struggling to recover long-term disability benefits from your insurance company, you need to get help from a lawyer with expertise in disability law.

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Call us at (800) 969-0488 or contact us online to speak with a disability insurance attorney. No fees or costs unless clients are paid.

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