Are we contagious?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by snuggle, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. snuggle

    snuggle New Member

    I am starting to feel like I shouldn't be around people because they may infect me or I may infect them. What do you guys think?
    Michelle
  2. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    but it has been found that CFS/CFIDS/M.E. can have cluster outbreaks - so who knows. They say one thing, then another.

    love
    Rosie
  3. lease79

    lease79 New Member

    Who knows... Everyone contagious really, if you break it down into the tiny things that we all have that we can pass on...
    It used to worry me, doesn't anymore. I think that more that the infections that can make us very sick with these conditions can be contagious, but not the actual conditions themselves ;)

    Lisa
  4. Paracelsus

    Paracelsus New Member

    Snuggle, that's difficult to answer because FM/CFS/other conditions can have any multitude of different causes and combination of causes.

    Metabolic, genetic, allergic, autoimmune disorders are not contagious.

    If an underlying cause is a pathogen like a virus there could be a risk for contagion. But even medical professionals are not completely certain of this.

    If you or your doctor suspect an active infection (as with EBV) it would be best to play it safe and not share eating utensils, drinking cups, toothbrushes with our family members.

    The other part of your question: can others infect me? If your condition involves a compomised immune system then of course.

    If your immune system is run down you should do everything you can to build it up so your resistence to infection is strengthened.
  5. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Hi,
    I've heard that Epstein Barr virus is contagious through body fluids. So, if you have it, you might be.

    I catch everythng that anyone around me has, or is carrying. That is why I stay home during flu season.

    I use essential oils and I feel that the protect me, some.

    Terry
  6. sofy

    sofy New Member

    fm and cfs are syndromes that are often diagnosed with no known cause of the syndrome. The cause can be from many health issues and if your doc only treats the symptoms and does not look for the cause then if you have a contageous component you could be spreading it around.

    This is my biggest problem with fm and cfs diagnoses. It allows docs to stop looking for the root cause.
  7. patches25

    patches25 New Member

    I think this is a very valid question since there is a perponderance of people in the helping professions that have this disease. Teachers and nurses seem to have more than there share of this. It probably doesn't pass easily but I certainly wonder whether it does. I deliberately do not spend much time with my grandchildren in hopes of sparing them this terrible life. E.
  8. im in the uk,and i have fibromyalgia and ME chronic fatigue syndrome.
    for many many years i always carried a donor card around with me,so that my organs could be used in the event of my death.one day a few years ago now,i saw in my local paper that there was a shortage of blood donors and there was this telephone number that i phoned to arrange for blood to be taken from me,to be used, when needed, for other people.
    well i phoned to book a appointment and i was asked do i suffer from any illnesses,i told them about the fibro and ME.the gentleman on the phone told me,,im sorry but we cant except blood donations from you because of your illnesses.we dont know much about your illnesses yet,but we believe theres a possibility that it might be passed onto other patients who would use your blood.
    i think this was about 6 years ago,so the rules might have changed now.but i was shocked at what he said,then after a while i thought,well its better to be safe than sorry.
    just a thought,ill keep checking in on your post to see if anyone from the medical profession has anything to say on if we are contagious or not.

    kind regards
    fran xx
  9. Kimelia

    Kimelia New Member

    Once I became ill I decided to never donate my blood because I wouldn't want to ever risk giving gthis to anyone else.

    It's scary that they would not take your blood.
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    It's not so much that our illnesses themselves are infectious, but most of us carry more than one chronic infection. When these infections are reactivated or in the initial active stage, we can make others sick. Once the infections go chronic, it usually takes intimate contact to infect others. We should not be blood, organ, or bone marrow donors.

    Most of us have one side of our immune systems which work overtime and the other which is sluggish. Depending on what we are exposed to, we can get sick from others or suffer strong immune responses which make us feel sick.

    Most researchers lean toward a genetic predisposition in our illnesses. That means that, for example, if you were to infect another with the EBV, it might make that person very sick but he or she would likely recover. If that person were genetically predisposed, the EBV might trigger FMS/CFIDS in him or her. Some of us can recover from triggering events and for some of us, it will bring on the FMS/CFIDS full blown. Some of us don't get sick until there are a number of triggering events.

    I tend to stay away from crowds and I use hand wipes when I'm out in public, especially in restaurants. I kiss my grandson on the cheeks but I don't share eating utensils with him. Gulf War Vets spread their illness, likely triggered by mycoplasma infactions, to their wives, children, and even the family pets. No one has yet found the genes involved in our illnesses so no one knows for sure whether those family members who got sick were genetically predisposed.

    I don't think we need to live in a bubble, but common sense should prevail.

    Love, Mikie
  11. snuggle

    snuggle New Member

    The reason I ask is, I have a friend who is on the waiting list for a heart lung transplant and I want to support her but don't want to infect her. I have pretty much concluded that I should support her by phone contact only. Also I have another friend who keeps having miscarriages and I have read that hypercoagulation can be a part of that, so I worry about being around their family.

    Thanks, Michelle
  12. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    about this. When my mother in law was diagnosed with Lymphoma I did a lot of research on it. One article I read said that people with her condition
    have often been exposed to someone with Epstein Barr..well, my SIL had a
    really bad case of it that kept her bedbound for nearly a year. I didn't tell my MIL since if there WAS a connection it wouldn't have been constructive to even bring up.

    My daughter has the FM in a severe form like I do, but I still think hers was probably inheirited. Her dad was exposed to a LOT of Agent Orange
    as he was in an area where a "test" was being done..AND he built airstrips in Vietnam, so the jungle had to be stripped first.

    Back then (34) years ago (when she was conceived) most people didn't even KNOW men could pass things on through sperm. Now it's just an accepted concept. Even a father on drugs or drinking can hurt the fetus.
    I was somehow cautious even then and wouldn't even take an aspirin during the pregnancy, but had no concept that Agent Orange could effect the coming child. Now it's obvious it could.

    I saw a nurse on CNN say that when the AIDS virus goes to the lungs in the final stages and it IS a virus that she and her fellow nurses worry
    about the coughing the patients do..spreading the virus into the air.
    There is so much we don't know about SO many things yet and only time will
    tell. I agree common sense is the best avenue.
  13. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Almost everyone has been exposed to EBV so it isn't likely the cause of lymphoma or, at least, the only factor. Exposure to it may trigger lymphoma in a genetically predisposed person if, indeed, lymphoma results from genetics. No one really knows. It's possible that when we are exposed to any pathogen, our immune systems are working too hard in one area and something else may slip by. Also, my doc has said that so little is known about the damage that the Herpes Family of viruses can do that exposure to them or infection by them may cause problems decades down the road. Shingles is a perfect example of that.

    I went to a seminar where we were told that the average person "gets" cancer 200 times a day but that the healthy immune system is able to kill it off. Those of us with these illnesses are more prone to four types of cancer and lymphoma is one of them. No one is quite sure why. We are also more prone to several types of chronic infection, including mycoplasmas, EBV, CMV, and HHV-6. Seems to me that it would be beneficial to do more research into these things.

    I'm sorry that you and so many members of your family have been ill. Both my daughters have FMS and so did my Mom. We also have some strange immune-type illnesses in the cousins. I wish the genome projects would start turning up more info on genetic predisposition.

    Love, Mikie