1 Are people with ME/CFS more at risk of catching swine flu?
Overall, the answer is probably no. However, if you belong to a sub-group who easily pick up infections, especially coughs, colds and flu-like infections, then the risk of catching swine flu may well be slightly higher than for normal healthy people.
They are saying that generally people with ME/CFS are not at increased risk of catching swine flu or having complications from it unless you have other underlying health problems (like asthma) or are severely affected or bedbound.
I’m not totally re-assured having had a minor viral infection in the past cause a chest infection which lasted for 2 months when my husband and brother got over the same bug in a week.
But they say:
“Although a variety of immune system abnormalities can occur in ME/CFS, they are not usually consistent with the sort of immune system deficiency that makes people much more susceptible to this type of infection.”
I’m trying to be more relaxed about it. But when a common cold can rob me of a couple of months it’s difficult not to be a bit worried about what effect swine flu might have.
I would just like the ME Association to place more emphasis on the risks for that sub-group who easily pick up infections, for those severely affected, for those bed-bound and for those for whom infection worsens their condition. Because if a group like them don’t highlight the risk factors for these people to health professionals, then who will?
If I get swine flu will the nurse on the phoneline take any notice of my past experience with virus and colds lasting for months and affecting me badly? Or will they just say that as I don’t have asthma I’ll be fine?
I guess a lot of people think I am a bit paranoid worrying about this. But when this virus could set me back for months, when I might face a sudden and significant debilitation, it’s kind of worrying.