One in a hundred school going children may be suffering from an undiagnosed condition known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome, forcing them to remain absent from school, says a new study.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, observed more than 2,800 children and found that around 28 children missed school due to this condition. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Bristol who warned that the condition could be "potentially devastating".
All of the students involved in the study were in between 11 and 16 years of age and were from secondary schools in Bath. The researchers found that while five of the students had been diagnosed with the condition, the other 23 had been identified through the study.
"Chronic fatigue is an important cause of unexplained absence from school. Children diagnosed through school-based clinics are less severely affected than those referred to specialist services and appear to make rapid progress when they access treatment", the researchers wrote in their report.