By David Tuller in California Magazine.
Years ago, I never thought to myself, ‘Hey, I’ve gotta be the guy who writes about chronic fatigue syndrome.’ I mean, why would I? It just sort of happened. When research suggested in 2010 that the illness might be linked to a mouse retrovirus, I wrote a piece about it for The New York Times.
After that I wrote another story, and then more stories, and then a few more—probably a dozen or so in all. But within a couple of years the mouse retrovirus hypothesis fell apart. And media interest in the illness vanished.
That was a problem for me. In the course of my reporting, I’d realized that the disease was both devastating and widely misunderstood. People were really, really sick—some were homebound for months and years at a stretch. Yet their condition had been saddled with one of the most condescending names ever given a major illness.
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