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International ME/CFS Awareness Day

  [ 4 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • May 12, 2002

The following information has been provided by Brenda Kijowski and the new web site "Walk with Me"(

May 12 was chosen as the International Day for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as it is the birth date of Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale was largely bedridden for the last 50 years of her life from a mysterious illness, which is now thought to have been CFS. Despite this, she inspired the establishment of the International Red Cross, started the first training course for nurses and ran a hospital empire from her bed.

CFS is NOT tiredness! It is a severe flu-like illness, which usually develops after a severe viral infection. It is believed that 9% of people who get Glandular Fever will go on to develop CFS. CFS patients endure headaches, dizziness, poor memory and concentration, sore throats, disrupted and unrefreshing sleep. Severe muscle and joints pains, allergies, abdominal pains and extreme fatigue. An expert committee, estimates that up to 126,000 Australians have CFS, 6 times the number of people which have been infected by HIV, and almost 8 times the number with multiple sclerosis.

Professor Garth Nicolson, of the Institute of Molecular Medicine in California, has reported that, of 203 CFS patients examined, 144 (71.4%) have clear evidence of mycoplasma infections. Mycoplasma is a slow growing, primitive bacteria which can be destroyed through multiple courses (sometimes lasting years) of strong antibiotics. Professor Nicolson is unsure whether the infections are the primary cause of CFS (there may be an underlying immune problem), but patients experience dramatic improvement with the eradication of the mycoplasma.

We welcome the universal efforts of individuals, groups and countries around the world who are supporting the BRAME (Blue Ribbon Awareness of ME/CFS) campaign. Not just on May 12, but throughout the year, which offers the opportunity to create a greater awareness and understanding of ME/CFS, and also offers support and friendship to those living with ME/CFS.

May 12 ME/CFS Awareness Day was initiated by Tom Hennessey, President of RESCIND, USA.

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