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Some of the symptoms of CFS are debilitating fatigue and weakness, chronic pain, cramps, sleeplessness, and headaches.

XMRV is a retrovirus, which means that once the virus is inside the body it remains there permanently. When present, it degrades the immune system, which makes it easier to catch other diseases.

In the United States, CFS affects between one to four million people (according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and in the United Kingdom it affects about 250,000 (according to the New Scientist article).

In the past, some of the supposed causes of CFS have included enteroviruses, Epstein-Barr virus, herpesvirses. However, these have been found to only cause a small percentage of CFS cases.

With no treatment for CFS and diagnoses that involve eliminating other diseases, this study may prove very helpful in finally discovering the cause of CFS so that diagnoses and treatments can be effectively made.

In the October 9, 2009 Wall Street Journal article “Cancer-Causing Virus Linked to Chronic Fatigue,” it states, “Although Thursday's scientific paper doesn't demonstrate conclusively that XMRV is a cause of CFS, additional unpublished data make it a very strong possibility."

And, "Dr. Mikovits said that using additional tests, the scientists determined that more than 95% of the patients in the study are either infected with live virus or are making antibodies that show their immune systems mounted an attack against XMRV and now had the virus under control.”


In addition, Dr. Mikovits is quoted in the WST article to have said, "Just like you cannot have AIDS without HIV, I believe you won't be able to find a case of chronic-fatigue syndrome without XMRV.”

Additional information is found in the previously quoted New Scientist article “Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to 'cancer virus'.”

Also read the October 8, 2009 ScienceBlogs.com article “Virus linked to both chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer.”

Additional information about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is found on the Mayo Clinic website “CFS: Definition” and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University

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