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"Chronic Sequelae of Foodborne Disease"

By Donna Sumner
     The title of this article was the title of a special issue of the Emerging Infectious Diseases that is put out by the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The issue was put out at the end of 1997.  It's interesting to note that the CDC has a list of diseases that they put on their own "Emerging Infectious Diseases" and, indeed, chronic fatigue syndrome made this list many, many years ago.  When it was publicized by a state support group led, then, by the President of (now) The National CFIDS Foundation, it disappeared from the CDC's list!

     This special issue is about how foodborne disease encompasses a large segment of clinical and etiologic conditions.  For instance, they mention rheumatoid disease under this heading which includes yersinia enterocolitica, Y. pseudotuberculosis, Shigella flexner, Sh. Dysenteriae, Salmonella ssp., Campylobacter jejuni, and escherichia coli which "initiate aseptic or reactive arthritis."  And I thought it was merely hereditary!

     Autoimmune diseases are mentioned such as Graves disease as well as inflammatory bowel disease, renal and neural disorders.  Among all of this is "ciguatera poisoning" as the "most common foodborne disease related to the consumption of fin fish."  Now, I know that what Dr. Hokama and his dedicated researchers are investigating is not something that has come from any fish poisoning, but I also know that they had to really look at it oh-so-closely to discover where the differences were.  So what this CDC publication had to say about ciguatera hit so close to home:

     "Cig-1 induces membrane depolarization in nerve and muscle tissue by opening voltage-dependent sodium channels….the acutte symptoms…are varied and include paresthesia of the extremities, ciircumoral paresthesia, reversal of hot and cold sensations, dental pain, myalgias, arthalgias, generalized pruritis, cranial nerve dysfunction, and dysuria…many of these symtpoms may remain chronic and are often misdiagnoosed as chronic fatigue syndrome, brain tumors, or multiple sclerosis."   HOW MUCH DOES THE CDC REALLY KNOW AND SINCE WHEN HAVE THEY KNOWN IT?

     The article goes on to state that "patients with chronic symptoms frequently report waxing and waning of symptoms.  Activities such as sexual intercourse and drinking alcohol significantly exacerbate expression.  Some women with chronic symptoms report worsening during menses.  Mood levels, weather conditions, and dietary constituents often exacerbate symptoms."  While they aren't talking about ME/CFIDS, it sure sounds familiar to me. 

     Later on in the article, they say that "mycotoxins as the causative agent of disease in humans is difficult to determine" and talk about immune function modulations, tumor growth, and autoimmune disease.  What if they aren't the "causative agent" but one that is a look-alike doing major damage? 

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