CTV - W5 program on long-haulers

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CTV - W5 program on long-haulers

:Last Saturday, the CTV program W5 carried a segment on people who are struggling to recover from COVID-19.

You can watch the segment at 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/w5-investigates-how-surviving-covid-19-is-just-the-first-step-1.5118743

Part 1 (13 minutes)

Part 2 (9 minutes)

The National ME/FM Action Network is pleased that the long-hauler issue is receiving media attention. We were, however, very concerned about the portaraying of a recovering patient pushing himself.  If he is developing ME, this exertion could be very counter-productive. We sent emails to both the Minister of Health and CTV expressing our concerns.  This is what the email to the Minister said:

 

Re: Dangerous Messaging re Myalgic Encephalomyelitis


Minister Hajdu

The CTV W5 program on Saturday night carried a segment on COVID long-haulers.

The program sent the important health message that there can be long term consequences to COVID.

The program also sent the dangerous health message that people can power their way to recovery. The individual featured on W5 was shown heroically pushing himself running and lifting weights.

Many of the people struggling to recover from COVID may be developing Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME or ME/CFS).

Seventeen years ago, an expert panel appointed by Health Canada advised that “[a]s much care must be taken in prescribing exercise as in prescribing medications to ME/CFS patients” and exercise programs should be “limited to non-fatiguing exercises”. Five years ago, the top US medical institute described ME/CFS as “systemic exertion intolerance disease” pointing out that exertion can cause long term harm in people with ME.

We hope that Canadian health officials will step forward immediately to fix the messaging, to explain that there are circumstances where exertion is counter-indicated. It is important that patients know this. It is important that their health care providers know this. And it is important the public know this.

Margaret Parlor

President

National ME/FM Action Network

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