Myths dispelled about chronic fatigue syndrome

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 05 October 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:839

Chronic fatigue syndrome, despite being commonly known as “yuppie flu,” is not restricted to any social class or occupational group, according to a report by the Royal Colleges of Physicians, Psychiatrists, and General Practitioners.

The report, written at the request of the chief medical officer, Kenneth Calman, aims to dispel some of the popular myths surrounding this controversial condition. It says that there is no convincing evidence that common viral infections cause the chronic fatigue syndrome, although 10% of those with Epstein-Barr virus develop the syndrome.

It argues that the chronic fatigue syndrome is a recognisable illness that uses up large amounts of resources. It is estimated …

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