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Give-blood ban 'proves ME is linked to virus'

Friday 26 November 2010

Ian Logan
CAMPAIGNER: Ian Logan.

From the UK's Worcester News:

Give-blood ban 'proves ME is linked to virus'

5:00pm Wednesday 24th November 2010

Photograph of the AuthorBy James Connell »

BANNING people with ME from giving blood proves the condition is linked to a virus, according to a campaigner.

Ian Logan, chairman of the Worcestershire ME support group, who has battled the condition for more than 20 years, said the decision to ban people with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), from giving blood was evidence there was concern that the condition was linked to a virus.

Health chiefs have denied that and said the decision was taken to protect people with ME rather than because of any infection risk from people receiving blood.

Mr Logan, aged 63, of Martley, has campaigned for 20 years to have medical professionals and other health bodies acknowledge that ME is not a psychological illness linked to depression but has a physical cause.

In October last year he said evidence from the US showed that ME/CFS was linked to XMRV, a virus that could have jumped the species barrier from mouse to man in the same way as HIV which is thought to have infected humans from monkeys or apes.

Mr Logan said until more is understood about the causes of ME/CFS all people who even suspect they may have it or are displaying symptoms should not be prevented from donating blood.

He said: “This is certainly further vindication. If ME/CFS is psychological why are they stopping people giving blood? Why is this being kept so quiet? In America they have treated people with ME/CFS with HIV drugs with good results. Two antivirals are working with no major side effects. If you even think you have ME you should be prevented from giving blood. The worry is that blood donors could be donating blood that contains the virus.”

A Department of Health spokesman denied this was the reason they were being prevented from giving blood.

She said: “The UK Blood Services’ decision to exclude people with CFS/ME from donating blood is to protect the donor, not because of any potential infection risk. This is in line with the guidance for other relapsing conditions.”

The above originally appeared here.

 


 

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