Blood transfusion services in the UK have banned people who have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from giving blood. NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), the body which oversees donations, says the ban protects people with ME from possible relapses after they have given blood.
Although Charles Shephard, medical adviser to UK charity the ME Association, backs the ban, he suggested that it could be linked to the recent finding that potentially harmful mouse leukaemia viruses are present in the blood of some people with ME.
The primary aim of the ban appears to be precautionary, to stop donated blood becoming contaminated with the viruses. Sue Barnes, associate medical director of the NHSBT, has stated there is no evidence of a transfusion risk from the viruses, but that the UK transplant service would continue to monitor the situation.
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