The ME Association (www.meassociation.org.uk) posted the following on Friday, Aug 27
The Department of Health has decided to ban blood donation permanently from all prospective donors in the UK who report they have had ME/CFS from 1 November this year. The decision was announced in an email sent to The ME Association today by the Department's Director of Health Protection.
In a brief email, Clara Swinson writes:
"As of 1st November 2010, blood donors who report that they have had ME/CFS will be permanently excluded from giving blood in the UK. This change is being made on the grounds of donor safety, as ME/CFS is a relapsing condition. It brings practice for ME/CFS into line with other relapsing conditions or neurological conditions of unknown origin.
"The change to donor selection criteria is being made following a recommendation by the UK Blood Services Standing Advisory Committee on the Care and Selection of Donors, and Joint Professional Advisory Committee (JPAC)."
The announcement has already been welcomed by contributors to ME/CFS internet forums around the world as further indication that the physical nature of the illness is being taken ever more seriously. Clara Swinson's email does not reveal the extent to which studies into the XRMV virus figured in Department of Health's thinking.
Below, we publish the correspondence with the ME Association which led to today's announcement.
(To read more go to www.meassociation.org.uk news )