Different causes of chronic illness (ME/CFS) and John Chia's success in treating his son

Some people believe that enteroviruses are a major cause of ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome). They are usually spread through unclean water, e.g. lake water.
Supporters of the enterovirus theory point towards history and note that there have been outbreaks of ME/CFS following outbreaks of enteroviruses.

A study by John Chia and his son Andrew performed a study where they looked for viral capsid protein 1 (VP1), which is associated with a family of viruses called Polyomaviridae. They found that 82% of ME/CFS patients tested positive for viral capsid protein 1 (VP1) compared to 20% of controls.

Other causes

However, John Chia has always been thinking that there are multiple infectious and non-infectious causes of ME/CFS. In a letter he published with his son, probable causes include vaccination (!), viruses other than enteroviruses, neurocardiogenic hypotension, and toxic mold exposure. Only half the cases were suspected to be caused by enteroviruses.

from https://academic.oup.com/cid/article-pdf/36/5/671/1244019/36-5-671.pdf

Testing and treatment

The EVMed Research website has a section for patient education. See the laboratory testing page for information on testing. However, Chia recognizes that existing tests will miss many types of viruses so there are limitations to current testing.

For treatment, see this page:

I believe that Chia has tried many things not mentioned on the page, such as remdesivir (a drug that became easier to obtain after it received EUA approval during the pandemic). I found a little bit of information about that in a summary of his IACFS ME 2021 presentation. Other information about remdesivir and its metabolite GS-44 can be found in a post on this forum.

I only mention other treatments for the sake of completeness. Experimental medication isn’t always a good idea.


Interferons have been widely used in conventional medicine to treat Hepatitis C. They’re not a crazy experimental treatment like remdesivir. However, many doctors don’t have experience with interferons so it may be hard to get access to them.

Russia and Ukraine have various interferon and interferon-like/related drugs that aren’t available in the Western world. However, because they aren’t available in the Western world, you will have trouble finding a doctor who has even heard about those drugs. I don’t believe that Chia uses those drugs.

Treating his son Andrew

Photo of Andrew from LinkedIn

Dr. Chia’s son Andrew came down with chronic fatigue syndrome in 1997 following a severe respiratory infection that developed into pneumonia. A high school athlete and straight A study, Andrew had to drop all sports and his grades plummeted to C”s. Andrew responded moderately well to Interferon’s but it was the addition of a Chinese herb, oxymatrine, that propelled him into full health in several months. Dr. Chia reports he can run 3 miles easily and work long hours.

From Health Rising’s profile on John Chia

Andrew Chia has been publishing various ME/CFS papers with his father. He has been working in the pharmaceutical industry for many years, first at Genentech and now at Gilead (which happens to make remdesivir).

Neither interferons or oxymatrine are mentioned on the EVMed Research page on treatments, even though Chia developed an oxymatrine product called Equilibrant.


Unfortunately ME/CFS has not been easy to treat. John Chia believes that tests are missing a lot of infections so he will consider the patient’s symptoms and history and may try various treatments to see if the patient responds.

Enteroviruses themselves are not easy to treat as there is no FDA-approved treatment for them.

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Here’s a quick 2min video on this topic if you were too lazy to read the original post:

It’s aggravating that there’s this existing body of work around ME/CFS and the NIH is shotgunning money at nonsense research such as using melatonin or exercise therapy.

Complaining aside, has this Dr. Chia or his son spoken or published anything about ME/CFS due to Covid? I could only find information online about his work on enteroviruses.

I’m not sure. He talks a little bit about SARS2 an hour into this interview:

His paper (from earlier on in this thread) does list various causes of ME/CFS such as enterovirus, other infections, mold, and vaccines.

Do you know how to search Google scholar? Just search for long COVID john chia and you might find something.

A Reddit user provides some anecdotes on the treatments that Chia is trying:

In a month I will be starting with his Equilibrant (Chinese Herb) treatment he regularly uses with his patients.

Things to note: Dr. Chia has some hope the antiviral medications being created for COVID could be beneficial for us. He has also had a couple patients recover with remdesivir but had one patients get way worse. Remdesivir seems to have some pretty serious side effects so seems like high risk.

Chia has a 2009 presentation on Oxymatrine which can be accessed via Youtube:

It does seem like Chia was quite excited about oxymatrine back in 2009. I would also be really into whatever healed myself or a loved one. Chia talks about it far less nowadays.

From a Reddit thread on oxymatrine.

ME/CFS expert Dr John Chia uses the antiviral immune stimulating herbal extract oxymatrine to treat his ME/CFS patients with enterovirus infections. Some of his enterovirus patients make major improvements on oxymatrine within a month or two of starting treatment. Oxymatrine seems to have an antiviral immune action against enterovirus. Dr Chia’s oxymatrine ME/CFS study is detailed in this post.

Could oxymatrine also have antiviral effects against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus?

Coronavirus and enterovirus both fall into the same category of positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses (+ssRNA).

Lots of +ssRNA viruses are linked to chronic fatiguing illnesses, including enterovirus, SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, hepatitis C virus, dengue virus, Ross River virus and West Nile virus. So it’s perhaps not entirely surprising that SARS-CoV-2 can also cause a chronic fatiguing illness.

Oxymatrine is known to work for the the fatiguing illnesses of enterovirus ME/CFS and known to work chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

So conceivably if oxymatrine works for enterovirus ME/CFS and hepatitis C virus, it might also have benefits for long COVID ME/CFS.

Oxymatrine can be bought as a supplement without prescription in the form of Equilibrant (Dr Chia’s own formulation), and as the White Tiger brand of oxymatrine.

Dr Chia says oxymatrine treatment begins by taking half an Equilibrant capsule for the first week or two, then slowly increasing up to 2 or 3 capsules twice daily (a total of 4 to 6 capsules daily). See this video interview with Dr Chia at 4:24. Dr Chia says no escalation of dose should be made if there is a significant increase in symptoms (wait until the symptoms settle to increase the dose).

Though Dr Chia advises that oxymatrine should not be used for people with autoimmune tendencies (for example, a strong family history of autoimmune diseases, and/or if the patients have joint pain with positive rheumatoid factor and persistently positive ANA).

Further info on oxymatrine:

One vax injured person posted his/her experience with Chia and equilibrant here:

I will start by saying, this has been the most positive doctor experience I’ve had since this whole ordeal started. Dr. Chia spent hours talking to me, asked plenty of questions, listened to everything I had to say, and gave me a ton of background information on previous experiences, possible outcomes, and most importantly, some hope. (Not setting myself for more disappointment but this is the most hopeful I’ve been in a long time). There was no shoulder shrugs, or “idk what to tell you”, none of the dismissiveness that a lot of us have experienced.

The Enterovirus Theory of Disease Etiology in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Critical Review

We conclude that there is considerable evidence that prior outbreaks of ME/CFS were caused by one or more enterovirus groups. Furthermore, we find that the methods used in prior studies were inadequate to rule out the presence of chronic enteroviral infections in individuals with ME/CFS. Given the possibility that such infections could be contributing to morbidity and preventing recovery, further studies of appropriate biological samples with the latest molecular methods are urgently needed.