This isn't really earth-shattering news but I thought I'd mention there was a radio slot of 45 minutes on Italy's main radio station yesterday about CFS. It was a phone-in with Umberto Tirelli, who participated in drawing up the Fukuda definition of CFS. I liked the way he presented the illness and I hope it will have raised awareness and understanding. He was clear and emphatic that this is a physical illness and he mentioned the XMRV research, but the depressing thing was that all the callers thought, if they feel a bit worn out, then they probably have CFS. He just repeated again and again that this is a specific illness, probably caused by an infectious agent but possibly also with a genetic component to it, and you have swollen glands, feel like you have flu, have frequent headaches and many other symptoms. I think his message was hard to get across because when you translate CFS into Italian it comes out as "the syndrome of chronic tiredness," which sounds even more ludicrous than Chronic Fatigue. He also mentioned the fact that the Italian government does not recognise CFS as existing in any form whatsoever, not even as a psychological illness. (In Italy, if you don't have the diagnosis of a named illness, you have to pay in full for all your medical tests and medications. Private health insurance does not exist, and the state subsidised medical system does not kick in until you have a proven illness with a name and a code number.) I just thought I'd mention that the XMRV research seems to be gently making waves, even in places where CFS is so far off the agenda. Better than nothing.