Canada bans blood donations from people with chronic fatigue

CanWest News Service
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Canada has become the first country to ban people with chronic-fatigue syndrome from donating blood.

The precautionary move is a result of Health Canada's concern over a virus known as XMRV, which has only potentially been linked to chronic fatigue.

XMRV closely resembles the AIDS virus, prompting fears it can be similarly transmitted through blood transfusions. The virus has also been linked to prostate cancer.

Ottawa -

Canada has become the first country to ban people with chronic-fatigue syndrome from donating blood.

The precautionary move is a result of Health Canada's concern over a virus known as XMRV, which has only potentially been linked to chronic fatigue.

XMRV closely resembles the AIDS virus, prompting fears it can be similarly transmitted through blood transfusions. The virus has also been linked to prostate cancer.

Canada's blood supply is managed nationally through Canadian Blood Services, which has erred on the side of caution since the tainted blood scandal in the 1970s and 1980s that saw thousands of blood recipients contract HIV and hepatitis C.

Dr. Dana Devine, the vice-president of medical and research affairs for Canadian Blood Services, said in the wake of the new policy, "we have no evidence that the blood supply is less safe than it was.

"While we don't know yet whether or not this virus causes this disease, we thought it was an appropriate precautionary measure to take until the science sorts itself out," said Devine.

"No one has ever found if this virus has caused any disease in humans."

An estimated 340,000 Canadians have chronic fatigue syndrome, but Devine said only a tiny fraction of those with disease would have been healthy enough to donate in the first place.

Devine said she expects the new guidelines to take effect by the end of the month.

Organizations: Canadian Blood Services, Health Canada

Geographic location: Canada, Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Chronic fatigue? Fibromyalgia? Let's call it what it is...being bone lazy! What will they think of next to avoid working? A sensitivity to electromagnetic fields? Too funny!

  • Jan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Donny Dooley - I am a suffer of Fibro and Chronic fatigue. I have to drag myself up out of bed each morning to go to work, and that's with a full 8 hours sleep and still am not rested. I avoid functions where I will be out past 10 oclock on worknights, because I know I will suffer the next day if I don't get enough sleep. I suffer even with enough sleep. I eat healthy and I exercise regularly - even though the exercise sometimes make me feel worse, I feel if I stop, I will have to lay down and die. Let me tell you something about being bone lazy : not only are your bones exhaused, your muscles are too. And it's even worse because people like you would think I am lazy. Sometime people afflicted with this condition choose to not work, over having no quality of life. Otherwise life is just not worth living.

  • Jan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Donny, perhaps you are too LAZY to read (you should be checked for chronic fatigue). I said I was employed, so just who would I be pulling a fast one on? My friends and family (people who know me) totally understand, because they know I'm a moral person and have no desire to deceive anyone. Oh yes, by the way, you can develop CFS at any time in your life, so you'd better watch your words, or they'll come back to haunt you.

  • Ban the
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Better ban blood from the drunks as well. I do not want some contaminated alcoholics blood. Might be better to just ban the sale and consumption of alcohol. Everyone would be better off. Look at all the money and problems we could save.

    Soon enough we will see an increase in traffic deaths and hospital visits with the May 24 long weekend. Maybe all alcohol related visits need to pay $100.00 at the door to be seen by medical professionals for self inflicted injuries. We need to cut the costs somehow right.

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Go on Jan. I'll bet that more than half the people that know you got it believe you're pulling a fast one. More and more folks are jumping on the ol' fatigue bandwagon. People I know with it, can't come to work but don't have a problem walking in for their cheque or vacationing down south. Provincial parks are full of fatigue all summer long. They can do everything else except work. How convenient! Listen, I'm not a doctor but sometimes all you have to do is give yourself a shake! The world don't owe you a livin'!

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Chronic fatigue? Fibromyalgia? Let's call it what it is...being bone lazy! What will they think of next to avoid working? A sensitivity to electromagnetic fields? Too funny!

  • Jan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Donny Dooley - I am a suffer of Fibro and Chronic fatigue. I have to drag myself up out of bed each morning to go to work, and that's with a full 8 hours sleep and still am not rested. I avoid functions where I will be out past 10 oclock on worknights, because I know I will suffer the next day if I don't get enough sleep. I suffer even with enough sleep. I eat healthy and I exercise regularly - even though the exercise sometimes make me feel worse, I feel if I stop, I will have to lay down and die. Let me tell you something about being bone lazy : not only are your bones exhaused, your muscles are too. And it's even worse because people like you would think I am lazy. Sometime people afflicted with this condition choose to not work, over having no quality of life. Otherwise life is just not worth living.

  • Jan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Donny, perhaps you are too LAZY to read (you should be checked for chronic fatigue). I said I was employed, so just who would I be pulling a fast one on? My friends and family (people who know me) totally understand, because they know I'm a moral person and have no desire to deceive anyone. Oh yes, by the way, you can develop CFS at any time in your life, so you'd better watch your words, or they'll come back to haunt you.

  • Ban the
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Better ban blood from the drunks as well. I do not want some contaminated alcoholics blood. Might be better to just ban the sale and consumption of alcohol. Everyone would be better off. Look at all the money and problems we could save.

    Soon enough we will see an increase in traffic deaths and hospital visits with the May 24 long weekend. Maybe all alcohol related visits need to pay $100.00 at the door to be seen by medical professionals for self inflicted injuries. We need to cut the costs somehow right.

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Go on Jan. I'll bet that more than half the people that know you got it believe you're pulling a fast one. More and more folks are jumping on the ol' fatigue bandwagon. People I know with it, can't come to work but don't have a problem walking in for their cheque or vacationing down south. Provincial parks are full of fatigue all summer long. They can do everything else except work. How convenient! Listen, I'm not a doctor but sometimes all you have to do is give yourself a shake! The world don't owe you a livin'!