Chronic fatigue syndrome causes prolonged and severe exhaustion and body aches among other symptoms, it’s one of medicine’s greatest mysteries and has long caused its sufferers misunderstandings and misdiagnoses. There are 17 million people who suffer the virus around the world and roughly one million of those are in the US. Of those tested out of 101 with the syndrome about 67% were found to have an infectious virus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV. When these numbers were compared to those in a group of 218 who didn’t have the syndrome it was found that the difference was great. Only 3.7% of the people unaffected by the syndrome tested positive for XRMV. Since that paper was published continued research has shown that roughly 98% of a group of 600 people affected by the syndrome tested positive for the virus.
A retrovirus, XMRV is a member of the same family as AIDS. These types of viruses carry genetic information in the RNA rather than DNA, inserting their hosts genetic material and remains for their lifespan. Researchers aren’t clear if the virus causes Chronic Fatigue syndrome or is the result of anther virus or condition that opens the body of the infected to infection. Regardless it’s possibly according to at least once researcher in the study that XMRV could be the source of several such conditions. A previous study has already linked the virus to higher rates of prostate cancer.