Akureyri disease

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Akureyri disease (also called Iceland disease) is used for an outbreak of fatigue symptoms in Iceland.[1] The outbreak of a disease simulating poliomyelitis took place in the town of Akureyri in Northern Iceland in the winter of 1948–1949. The center of the epidemic was in the main secondary boarding school. The predominant symptoms were tiredness and exhaustion. Since the outbreak of the disease the sufferers were often thought to suffer from psychiatric disorder such as hysteria.[2]

The disease was first diagnosed as poliomyelitis and the first case was reported on September 25, 1948, in Akureyri. During the third and fourth week of November it became evident that this epidemic was different from epidemics of poliomyelitis. The epidemic lasted for more than 3 months and the total number of reported cases was 488.[3]


  1. ^ Blattner R (1956). "Benign myalgic encephalomyelitis (Akureyri disease, Iceland disease)". J. Pediatr. 49 (4): 504–6. doi:10.1016/S0022-3476(56)80241-2. PMID 13358047.
  2. ^ Líndal E, Bergmann S, Thorlacius S, Stefánsson JG (1997). "Anxiety disorders: a result of long-term chronic fatigue - the psychiatric characteristics of the sufferers of Iceland disease". Acta Neurol Scand. 96 (4): 158–162. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0404.1997.tb00259.x.
  3. ^ http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/52/2/222.extract A disease epidemic in Iceland Simulating PolioMyelitis (Am. J. Epidemiol. (1950) 52 (2): 222-238)