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What You Should Know About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Blood Donation

Updated January 25, 2011

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
CFS, also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a complex and debilitating illness that affects the brain and multiple body systems. There is no test, known cause or cure for CFS. The syndrome is diagnosed by doctors after performing a careful medical history, physical examination and series of laboratory tests.

CFS and Blood Donation
Although there are currently no specific federal recommendations regarding the deferral of individuals with CFS or other diseases that have been associated with murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) infection, Blood Bank of Delmarva is taking a conservative approach with the deferral of these donors.

Some studies have associated XMRV infection with CFS and suggested that the virus may be transmissible through blood. However, at the present time these disease associations have yet to be confirmed, and there is currently insufficient data to conclude that XMRV is transmitted through blood transfusion.

For the safety of those with CFS and transfusion recipients, blood donors with the syndrome will be deferred while research continues. If you have CFS, please provide us with your contact information so we can let you know if and when our recommendations change.