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Can the Australian flu contacted in 2007 have lasting effects into 2009?

Posted by linda

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Dear Linda -

I answered your question two days ago but just noticed that my answer never posted!  I'll try to remember all that I wrote...

I don't know anything about the Australian flu in particular, but I can answer your question in a general sense.

If your illness began with a flu or flu-like symptoms and you still have symptoms more than a year later, you almost certainly have developed an immune system disorder known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) outside the U.S.

CFS/ME occurs when some sort of triggering infection affects someone who has a genetic predisposition to CFS and the immune system over-responds and remains dysfunctional.  Research shows that about 10% of the population who get mono, Lyme, and other triggering infections (including flus) develop CFS.

Despite its silly-sounding name, CFS is about a lot more than feeling tired.  Other symptoms that are a part of CFS can include:  recurring sore throats, fever or feeling feverish, flu-like aches, pain in muscles or joints, headaches, sleep dysfunction (waking up still feeling exhausted), and difficulty maintaining blood pressure that results in feeling faint, dizzy or just plain sick when you're upright for too long.  In addition, CFS is characterized by a unique intolerance to exercise:  any kind of exertion can trigger a sudden worsening of symptoms (often called a crash) hours later that can last for days (or more).

The CFIDS Association (CFIDS is another name for CFS) offers a great self-quiz to help you determine whether you might have CFS:

They also offer excellent, up-to-date information on diagnosing and treating CFS:

The CDC also has an informative website:

If you think you do have CFS, you need to see a doctor who understands and knows how to treat it.  This is sometimes difficult, as CFS is poorly understood by many medical professionals.  Co-Cure maintains a list of doctors who treat CFS:

Since you know your illness began with a flu (a viral infection), it is absolutely critical that you take anti-viral medications as part of your treatment.  This is a fairly new approach to treating CFS, but it is often very effective in people whose CFS began with a virus.  Here is some more information:

And here is an excellent overview on treating CFS on a website that provides great, up-to-date information on CFS:

I list additional resources at my website: 

You might also be interested in my blog on Learning to Live with CFS: 

There is not yet a cure for CFS, but some people do eventually recover and there are treatments available that can help to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.  Good luck in finding some answers and getting some relief from your symptoms -

Sue Jackson 

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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