Yuppie flu: A plea to journalists

“Yuppie flu”

A plea to journalists

Today, the media are carrying reports of gene expression research in ME and CFS patients. Researchers at St George’s University of London report that they have identified genetic differences which, they say, have enabled them to divide research subjects into seven sub-types, according to the type and severity of their symptoms.

This Press Association story has so far been picked up by The Sun, the BBC and the Daily Mail.

At least one journalist could not resist the temptation to use the term “Yuppie flu”.

A plea to journalists:

ME is classified by the World Health Organisation as a neurological illness (WHO ICD-10 G93.3). Sufferers of ME are not sufferers of “Yuppie Flu” and ME campaigners are not “Yuppie Flu Campaigners”.

For how much longer are journalists going to drag out this denigrating and inaccurate term?

“Yuppie Flu” was coined by the media, themselves, some years ago, and serves only to continue to misrepresent a seriously debilitating illness which is ruining the lives of thousands of children, some as young as four or five, as well as adults, of all ages and from all backgrounds.

Accurate and informed coverage of ME by the media is always welcomed but with ME Awareness Week fast approaching (11th May to 17th May) please, please journalists, on behalf of all of us with children and young people whose lives are on hold because of this horrible illness, let’s see this tired, trite and grossly misleading term buried, once and for all!


You can read some of the reports here:


The Press Association
Genetic predisposition may cause ME


Is debilitating ME in the genes rather than in the mind


‘Seven genetic types of ME’ found
Geneticists have identified a biological basis for seven different subtypes of chronic fatigue syndrome.


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