Jonathan Hawkins: A disease not often discussed |

Jonathan Hawkins: A disease not often discussed

Did you know there are millions missing from their everyday lives due to a disease that many are not aware of? This disease is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and we recognize May 12 as the day of the #MillionsMissing.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis, or myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), is a multi-system disease that causes profound limitations. People experience symptoms on a spectrum from severe to mild, but 75% of people with the disease are unable to work and 25% are home-bound or bedridden. An estimated 15 million to 30 million people live with the disease worldwide.

Nearly 80% of people with ME report an infectious onset, whether SARS-CoV-2, MERS or Epstein-Barr, and never recovered. Based on evidence from past viral outbreaks, researchers expect that around 10% of COVID-19 patients will go on to develop ME/CFS.

As the world continues to open back up and more people get the vaccine, it is important to remember that there are members of our community who will remain missing from their lives indefinitely due to lingering effects of the virus.

I hope you will continue to educate yourself on ME and how long COVID-19 will increase the chronic illness numbers in our community.

Jonathan Hawkins

Nevada City

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