I had lunch with one of the kids touched by the Lyndonville outbreak. She still has CFS but it is less then when it was most severe. During the conversation she mentioned that Dr.Bell was using antibiotics long term with his patients until he was threatened with his medical license being pulled if he did not stop.
The person also mentioned the best year of her life, she was being treated for a sinus infection. The sinus infection did not clear, so she ended up spending a year trying different antibiotics every few weeks. The sinus infection did not respond to any of them — but she really felt a lot better…
She related a very interesting story on a temporary cure for CFS symptoms. Lyndonville is a rural area with many farmers — many of which came down with CFS. When it came to harvest time, the harvest had to come in and they had to do it. Someone discovered that rolling in poison oak caused the CFS symptoms to clear for a while and this became a regular practice for some of the farmers. The pain of poison oak or poison ivy was much less than the financial pain of loosing the harvest.
The chemical in this plant is Urushiol. Looking at this compound I found that it impacts cytokines in some interesting ways [Technical articles: 1988, 1989, 1996]. One of the ways was that the production of IL-2 and gamma-interferon was much lower. Dr. Bell recorded his observations in this article. He laments that there have been no followup on these observations by others.