On March 25, #MEAction hosted a telepresser featuring a panel of experts uniquely positioned to speak to how long COVID is being informed by the research on myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
Long haulers are overwhelmingly reporting symptoms that resemble ME/CFS at six months, and researchers are expecting the number of people with ME/CFS to more than double during the pandemic, which follows the pattern of past viral outbreaks. Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned repeatedly of the risk for COVID-19 patients to develop ME/CFS.
Our panel of experts knew this was coming, and have dedicated a large part of their careers preparing for this moment. Since the beginning of the pandemic, ME/CFS researchers and clinicians expected that a worldwide viral outbreak would lead to a massive surge in chronic illnesses, including ME/CFS.
- Dr. Lucinda Bateman, MD, founder of the Bateman Horne Center, is seeing overlapping symptoms in both her long COVID and ME/CFS patients.
- Dr. Anthony Komaroff, MD oversees the Columbia University – Center for Solutions for ME/CFS Long-COVID study with the Bateman Horne Center. He chaired the Neurology section of the NIH Conference on Post-COVID health complications this past December. In his Frontiers article exploring how past viral outbreaks have led to surges of chronic illness, he estimates COVID-19 will double the number of people with ME/CFS.
- NINDS Clinical Director, Dr. Avindra Nath, MD, has launched two intramural studies at the NIH to investigate long COVID, which follows on the heels of the institute’s intramural work investigating ME/CFS. Both studies are showing overlapping findings and symptoms.
- A long hauler and person with ME/CFS will share their experiences of getting a virus and not recovering.
Read more on the connection between long COVID and ME/CFS:
Studies and articles on post-viral illness:
Preprint survey on characterization of long COVID:
Read about the disease burden and historic underinvestment of ME/CFS: