The fact that ME/CFS has occurred in clusters indicates ME/CFS could be infectious. Severe virus infections and virus infection symptoms have always been associated with the onset of the illness in most cases. Researchers over the decades have pursued the theory that ME/CFS is caused by a retrovirus. Therefore:
The following news reports show countries and organizations that have a policy to ban or defer ME/CFS patients from donating blood.
December 2010 Norway Director of Health Letter – Anyone with diagnosis of ME/CFS will not be accepted as a blood donor.
December 2010 Red Cross bars chronic fatigue patients from donating blood to reduce the risk of transmitting a virus that has been associated with the disease. This report of the ARC press release shows that the FDA has yet to take any action.
October 2010 UK Bans ME/CFS patients from donating blood – The reason given is to protect the patients, yet the timing and some comments from those in parliament show the possibility of the HIV-like virus, XMRV, being in the blood supply, prompted the policy examination.
June 2010 AABB Announces Policy that ME/CFS patients should not donate blood - This step was recommended by a task force created by the AABB, an association of blood collection facilities in the U.S.
April 2010 New Zealand Bans ME/CFS patients from donating blood – The reason is concern for viral infection being passed through blood. Story shows some ME/CFS patients have donated blood in the past after they felt better.
April 2010 Australia Red Cross Bans ME/CFS patients from donating blood – This is a precaution because of the XMRV discovery.
April 2010 – Canada Ban ME/CFS patients from donating blood - The first country to do this after the retrovirus, XMRV, was found in high numbers of ME/CFS patients.