The most compelling case for an infectious ME/CFS etiology may be the family of Keith Baker.
Now 41, Baker was 16 when he suddenly became ill. At the time, Baker was a high-school track star and Junior Olympic metal winner in Waterville, Maine. As he testified to the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee, “I was running a race and suddenly I could not put one foot in front of the other. I stopped in the middle of my race and knew something was terribly wrong with me.”
Baker was diagnosed with mono the next day and came down with chicken pox a week later. Next, his 12-year-old brother got chicken pox and mother became ill with shingles (a reactivation of the chicken pox virus) and Bell's palsy.
When his adult sister came to visit, she too got sick. And when Baker and his brother visited their father—his parents were divorced—his father became ill as well. In a matter of months, everyone in the family was sick with ME/CFS.
Today Baker still has ME/CFS, as do the rest of his family. Baker hasn’t been able to run since he first became ill. His wife is healthy, but their two children have high-functioning autism, and the elder child also has seizures. Of all the family members, Baker’s brother is the most severely affected with ME/CFS.
Genetics can’t explain this entire family coming down with ME/CFS, because ... Read more>>
See also: PACE trial results are out: ME is caused by an oncogenic virus or The putative agent of ME/CFS can be transferred to monkeys