Thousands of people want to take part in an international online conference on Long Covid and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) next week. The event with the name

“The audience will include patients, carers, researchers, clinicians, politicians and journalists,” said Marco Wetzel, one of the founders, in advance. So far, almost 7,000 people have registered for the free event (as of May 8th). Numerous expert lectures as well as reports from those affected are planned.

The participants also include well-known international scientists, including Charité professor Carmen Scheibebogen and immunologist Akiko Iwasaki from the USA. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) is scheduled to speak in a recorded video message at the beginning of the conference.

Demonstrations planned in several German cities

ME/CFS is a chronic illness in which symptoms such as severe fatigue, difficulty concentrating and sleeping last for at least six months. An aggravation of symptoms after physical and mental exertion is considered characteristic. The previously incurable disease has become somewhat better known due to the corona pandemic and the discussion about long-term consequences of Covid-19 (Long Covid), as it sometimes begins with a viral infection. However, there were numerous people affected in this country even before the pandemic.

May 12th is International ME/CFS Day. Those affected and supporters want to demonstrate simultaneously in twelve German cities this weekend. The protests should take place while lying down. The initiators are calling for better care for those affected and more research. On Sunday, numerous buildings and monuments nationwide will be illuminated blue in memory of people with ME/CFS.