Is Chronic Fatigue a Communicable Disease?

Illustration for article titled Is Chronic Fatigue a Communicable Disease?

Though chronic fatigue syndrome is common, doctors still don't know what causes it. A study published today in Science, however, suggests the condition may be linked to human retrovirus (pictured). Does this mean you can catch chronic fatigue from somebody?


Don't break out the face masks just yet. Right now, the research is not mature enough to say one way or the other whether you can infect your friends and family with chronic fatigue. But scientists have discovered that two-thirds of people suffering chronic fatigue are also infected with the retrovirus XMRV, which is related to mouse leukemia.

Chronic fatigue is a disease which affects human organs, resulting in feelings of exhaustion, and it affects about 1 million Americans.

According to Science:

Vincent Lombardi and colleagues uncovered the human retrovirus XMRV, which bears a genetic resemblance to a mouse leukemia virus, in 68 of 101 blood samples taken from patients with CFS, while identifying the retrovirus in only eight samples from 218 healthy patients. The researchers show that the XMRV is infectious and can provoke an immune response.

The researchers caution that XMRV does occur commonly in humans, and that there is currently no evidence that there is a causal link between the retrovirus and chronic fatigue. There is, however, enough evidence to merit further investigation.

via Science Express




Yes, it's true, hanging out with chronically lazy people will make you lazy too.