For some history on the “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” outbreaks of the 1980s and the CDC’s dismissal of them, watch this excellent documentary episode of ABC’s “Primetime Live” – broadcast in 1996 and narrated by Sam Donaldson. Now offered online in video format by the Barborka family at www.vimeo.com/13048135
“Primetime” was released at the time Hillary Johnson published her book, Osler’s Web. It covers the Tahoe and Lyndonville outbreaks of the ‘80s; and the work of brilliant Wistar Institute researcher Dr. Elaine DeFreitas, who isolated a likely retrovirus that might be connected to ME/CFS – one that appeared to attack the immune system and might lie dormant for years.
The video also features (younger) Drs. Paul Cheney and David Bell, who collaborated with DeFreitas in publication of a paper on the virus and its potential connection to CFS in 1991. (Sadly, Dr. DeFreitas did not continue her work, as she was very badly injured in an accident, and even her whereabouts today is considered a mystery.)