Between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome—commonly referred to as ME/CFS. This disease is characterized by profound fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, sleep abnormalities, autonomic manifestations, pain, and other symptoms that are made worse by exertion of any sort. ME/CFS can severely impair patients’ ability to conduct their normal lives. - Institute of Medicine Report , Feb. 10, 2015.
"My H.I.V. patients for the most part are hale and hearty thanks to three decades of intense and excellent research and billions of dollars invested. Many of my ME/CFS patients, on the other hand, are terribly ill and unable to work or participate in the care of their families. I split my clinical time between the two illnesses [HIV and ME/CFS], and I can tell you if I had to choose between the two illnesses (in 2009) I would rather have H.I.V.” - Dr. Nancy Klimas, Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine at NSU
"This disease leaves people bedridden. I’ve gone through phases where I couldn’t roll over in bed. I couldn’t speak. To have it called “fatigue” is a gross misnomer. Most people, when they hear the disease name, it’s all they know about it. It sounds so mild. When I first was sick, for the first 10 years or so, I was dismissed. I was ridiculed and told I was lazy." - Laura Hillenbrand author of "Seabiscuit" and "Unbroken", "New York Times", Feb. 4, 2011
In 2011, the Norwegian Directorate of Health apologized for the way ME/CFS patients in Norway have been treated. Such a public apology from a governmental health agency had never occurred before.
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