Precipitating Pathogens


Senior Member
SF Bay Area
I thought Suzanne Vernon's piece on Precipitating Pathogens was very interesting.

27% of people who had SARS resulted in CFS.

of 233 SARS survivors in Hong Kong participating in a study of persistent mental health problems and chronic fatigue, 27% met the 1994 CFS case definition. Both psychiatric morbidity and post-SARS CFS continued to cause significant disability four years after the acute infections with SARS.

persistent West Nile Virus infection

WNV was detected in the urine of five people who had WNV encephalitis. Four of the 5 WNV positive people reported chronic symptoms including weakness, fatigue, memory loss and loss of coordination (ataxia). Three of these were more than six years past the initial WNV infection.

10% of people with mono, Ross River Virus, and Q Fever resulted in CFS.

the same proportion of people developed post-infection CFS about 10% -- regardless of whether the initial disease was caused by EBV, RRV or CB. This study found that the severity of the acute illness, rather than the specific pathogen, was the major determinant for developing post-infection CFS.

I hope the new findings on SARS and WNV will be helpful. SARS made headlines for a long time. These are scary infectious diseases that people pay attention to. Wessely, try to tell the SARS folks about their abnormal illness beliefs, and CBT will rid them of WNV.

The other thing I note is that with the high percentage, 27% of post-SARS getting CFS, and even the lower 10% of post-EBV/RRV/CB getting CFS, it's unlikely that XMRV is the only possible cause of CFS with XMRV being ~3.7% in a healthy U.S. population, unless people with XMRV disproportionately get these other infections.