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Chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) is a unique, controversial, and poorly understood chronic disease that has a sudden onset in most cases. It is a multiple symptom disease that affects the immune and neurological systems and suggests chronic

Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome 231

mononucleosis. Like many chronic illnesses, CFIDS is debilitating and is often accompanied by depression.

CFIDS has been mentioned throughout history but only recently has been defined for adults as a distinct disorder. It is characterized by chronic fatigue, lasting for at least 6 months and often much longer; it causes impaired overall physical and mental functioning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria have been formulated to standardize diagnosis and include: cognitive difficulties, pharyngitis, lymphadenopathy, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, sleep disturbance, poor sleep, and postexercise malaise.

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