width=215Red Cross Blood Service Australia placed a two-year suspension on accepting blood donations from people who have or ever had a chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

The temporary halt will allow more research whether CFS has a viral cause which poses a new type of transmission risk to the blood supply.

Dr Tony Keller from Red Cross said that the suspension was a precautionary move based on a recent research which suggested a link between CFS and a recently known virus known as XMRV.

The science is still unclear, Dr. Keller said.

The recent research from North America was not supported by the research undertaken in Europe, and there is no research on XMRV here in Australia.

We will review our decisions in about two years' time, when further studies about the virus had been done.

Dr Keller said that Red Cross will write to their very few active donors who had recovered from CFS to explain the changes.

Before the suspension, Australians were allowed to donate blood even with a history of CFS as long as they had recovered well and they had a confirmation letter from their GP's regarding this.

Only those with active CFS were rejected. Dr. Keller said this accounted for about 70 intending donors in about two years.

Canadian authorities had placed a total ban on blood donations from people with CFS history earlier this month.

XMRV, or Xenetropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, was detected first in prostate tumors in 2006. A US study late last year found out that it was commonly detected in blood taken from people with CFS.

The study took in blood samples from 101 people with CFS and 95 percent of them showed the presence of XMRV infection, though succeeding studies did not produced the same results.