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The Australian article
Sunday 16 August 2009
The Australian newspaper has published an an article about ME/CFS:
Chronic fatigue syndrome can be beaten
AMY Clissold knows all too well that chronic fatigue syndrome has a shady reputation. The 24-year-old knows it's linked to everything from Gulf War Syndrome and attention deficit disorder to depression and childhood trauma.
Having had the debilitating condition since she was 14, Clissold also knows first-hand the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding chronic fatigue: "If I meet someone new and tell them I have (CFS), the reaction is normally: 'That doesn't exist', or 'I must have it too because I'm tired all the time'."
This shouldn't be the case. After all, this year marks two decades since the US Centres for Disease Control coined the term chronic fatigue syndrome – also known as ME/CFS – to describe the mystery illness that affects tens of thousands of Australians, one that costs the country more than $500 million in direct and indirect costs each year.
Worse, while Australia is at the forefront of research into CFS, experts claim Australians aren't getting the benefits in terms of treatment. Inadequate funding has dramatically restricted access to the only proven therapy for the illness, one widely available in the British hospital system since the late 1980s. Sufferers such as Clissold say they're treated as malingerers and feel abandoned by the health system.
The cause of CFS remains elusive. Two-thirds of sufferers get the condition following an illness such as glandular fever, the flu, Ross River virus or meningitis, according to specialist and consultant physician Michael Oldmeadow, who has treated the illness for 15 years. He says the other one-third contract it after a less common event, such as surgery, an epidural or drug reaction.
Among others, Paul Leverenz, chairman of the national ME/CFS society, The ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Association of Australia Limited, was interviewed for the article.
You can read the full article here.
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