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Old 05-03-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
harka harka is offline
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Re: Dx with Fifths Disease but still suspect Lyme. Worth getting a 2nd opinion?

Hey dayandage,

I don't think it would be unreasonable for you to get Lyme serology done--especially given you live in a high risk area, though if your parvo serology was positive, you have your diagnosis right there...especially if it was the IgM (rather than the IgG) fraction which was found in your blood. Additionally, don't worry about this whole "Lyme literate" thing--if you have an infectious diseases doctor, you will have a person who will reliably be able to diagnose/rule out Lyme--especially if you live in the NE states where they are all Lyme experts.

Fifth disease is the name for the syndrome children get when they are acutely infected with Parvovirus B19....this includes the red "slap-cheek" rash; however, the manifestations of Parvo infection in adults is not the same as "fifth disease". Parvo often causes a debilitating inflammatory arthritis + serum sickness which you seem to have gotten. You're right, it's something you unfortunately have to wait out...often no amount of NSAID will help, and for severe symptoms, doctors may put their patients on a short course (less than 2 weeks) of prednisone to help with the symptoms. Another important manifestation of parvoviral infection is pure red cell aplasia...in other words, your red blood cell productions ceases suddenly. It eventually returns in a week or so.

You may have read some of my previous posts, but while you have a lot of troubling symptoms, they are all pretty much non-specific except for maybe the joint pain. It doesn't point towards any one single diagnosis. The fact that you got one...i.e. parvo, suggests that it is the most likely cause and I would stop looking. If you start barking up the Lyme tree with non-specific symptoms as you have, you'll end up in somewhat of a circular argument where you are "diagnosed" with the disease because some well-meaning doctor feels that conventional testing is inadequate. The problem is, you could end up being on long-term IV antibiotics, which other than being medically futile, is dangerous and can lead to harm to you and also to the population at whole by fostering antibiotic resistance. Not really all that helpful if the right diagnosis was a viral syndrome the whole time.

Does that make sense?

Last edited by harka; 05-03-2009 at 07:26 PM.