How might Covid-19 infection and ME/CFS be related? Elizabeth Tracey reports


The chronic medical condition called ME/CFS, the new term for chronic fatigue syndrome, can be triggered by Covid-19 infection, even when the acute illness seems mild. That’s according to Peter Rowe, a ME/CFS expert at Johns Hopkins, who says the mechanism is still unknown.

Rowe: So it could be that there’s inflammation in the brain from direct invasion of the virus. Others are noticing that these orthostatic disorders are starting maybe two weeks after the infection suggesting that perhaps its as the body is making antibodies to coronavirus. Those antibodies are also somehow attacking the individual. And we’re had lots of evidence of other autoantibodies being measurable post-Covid.  :27

Rowe says many cases of what is being called ‘long Covid’ are likely ME/CFS triggered by the infection, and the good news is there are several options for management and treatment, beginning with recognition that ME/CFS is present. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.