I've been sick for the last two months with a neverending runny nose, a deep chest cough and my biggest complaint, severe body aches. I went to an urgent care facility that did a rapid strep test which came back negative. At that point, the diagnosis was pharyngitis and I was given a 10 day course of amoxicillan. The amoxicillan took care of a sore throat and a fever that I had when I went to urgent care. A month and a half afterward, my aches, runny nose and wet cough hadn't gotten any better so I saw my primary and she took some blood samples - checked my iron & ferritin levels, my TSH levels and she did a CBC panel and an arthritis panel. A week later I get a call from her office saying everything came back normal except that I had a build up of strep antibodies in my joints. I've been put on penicillan to treat it.
I'm just worried that this is an autoimmune problem. When I was 18 months old I got sick with a run of the mill viral infection that eventually caused my body to attack itself. I had a fever of 104 and it caused a severe to profound bilateral hearing loss. I'm just looking for a more in depth explanation of what is currently going on with me and is it something I should be concerned about??
Strep cultures can be falsely negative, even when done with care. The build-up of strep antibodies in your joints sounds like rheumatic fever. You should ask your doctor if there is any sign that the antibodies have affected your heart.
Penicillin is the right treatment. Your doctor may want to put you on long-term penicillin prophylaxis to prevent recurrence of strep infections that could further damage your body.
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