Health Watch
  • Chronic immunological and neurological diseases (CIND) such as myalgic encephalomyelitis, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity are complex illnesses.

  • The international awareness day for chronic immunological and neurological diseases (CIND) is observed on 12 May every year.
  • The day aims to raise awareness and educate the public about the seriousness of the debilitating diseases.
The International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases(CIND) is observed on 12 May every year since 1992.

Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases may include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) 2017

The day is designated to spread awareness among people and help the world to understand the seriousness of certain diseases and conditions.

International Awareness Day - History

The International Awareness Day is designated on 12 May to commemorate the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.

Florence Nightingale was believed to suffer from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Her story, as the English army nurse has inspired generations across the world.

The idea of creating awareness on 12 May originated with Tom Hennessy, the founder of RESCIND, Inc. (Repeal Existing Stereotypes about Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases) who created awareness for the spectrum of CINDs.

The importance of the International Awareness Day was highlighted on 12 May at a World Medical Conference on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in 1995.

Ribbons Used

The ribbons are used as a symbol of awareness or support for a cause. The three colors that are used for the International Awareness Day include
  • Blue - Awareness of Myalgic Encephalitis
  • Purple - Awareness of Fibromyalgia
  • Green - Awareness of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND)

Chronic immunological and neurological diseases are complex illnesses and the symptoms could vary from one patient to another thus making them difficult to diagnose.

Some of the common chronic immunological illnesses include
  • Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lyme Disease
  • Lupus
  • Gulf War Syndrome
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME),is a complex disorder that causes muscle pain due to the inflammation in the brain and the spinal cord. It is also referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and is characterized by a number of symptoms and substantial debility that affects the daily activities.

Around one million people in America are estimated to have ME/CFS. Although most common among women, it is capable of affecting people of all ages including children.

Symptoms include:
  • Marked fatigue and weakness
  • Sickness
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Neck pain
  • Vision abnormalities


It is a disorder characterized by musculoskeletal pain involving fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Symptoms could begin after a trauma, surgery, infection or stress.

Some of the symptoms in people with fibromyalgia are
  • difficulty in sleeping
  • headache
  • painful menstrual periods
  • thinking problems
  • tingling or numbness in hands

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is often linked to multiple symptoms or sensitivity to different pollutants or chemicals that include solvents, perfumes, petrol, smoke.

Several efforts are taken up by leading organizations and individual support groups to raise awareness and educate the public, healthcare professionals, government officials and legislative bodies about fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), chronic pain illnesses.

References :
  1. May 12th International Awareness Day - CIND - (
  2. MAY 12th International Awareness Day - (
  3. ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day - (
  4. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - (
  5. Fibromyalgia - (
  6. About Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - (
  7. What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - (
Source: Medindia

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