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Mutated Fifth Disease?

Fifth Disease was running a course in schools since January.  

My wife (30 y.o.) started feeling tired one day in the sun, returned to car to find a deep red lacy rash on her lower legs.  Internal pain in the bones rather than the joints were her biggest complaint.  She recalls a one day mild fever about a week before the rash.  By the Next couple of weeks (after the sun), the rash was all over her body and the bone pain was literally in every bone.  Our kids got the rash about a week after hers started and they were done with it in about a week.  She's been to E.R. first, standard blood tests show negative.  Went to Primary Doc. for eval and tests.  Doc Said it was a virus and will run it's course.  Week later went back to Primary for 'real' blood work.  I don't know what was tested, but Leukemia, Lupus, Lyme etc come to recollection.  Fifth Disease was not tested.  Went back the next week to discuss results and .. negative for all.  She asked about Fifth Disease, doc said it was rather harmless and will run it's course.  The arthritis symptoms are normal for this virus, though her bones rather than joints are the most painful.  Rash was going away, but still tired and really hurting.  Went back to Doc, and was furious with the "your a hypochondriac and you are wasting my time" attitude.  Learned of a local MD that mis-diagnosed her own viral infection and three weeks later she died (Post Diagnosed with Fifth Disease).  Wife called Doc the next day and chewed her out, Doc Back peddled with "oh yeah certain bone disorders can cause death and this can facilitate it in rare cases.  Wife has had this for more than 5 weeks at this point isn't that rare enough to evaluate more closely.

Went to an alternative doc. (Applied Kinesiologist)... Not hocus pocus since I'm not allergic to my dogs anymore, we do trust him.  He said that her body was indicating parasitic/viral infection.  Gave her some homeo and had some releif from pain.  Went back a week later and "it has mutated" and is damaging her pancreas.  She's cranking on the B complex candies (I call them) and a couple of other homeo's for the infection.  

It's been 8-9 weeks, she's tired, depressed and hurts all over.  The rash isn't there anymore.  800 mg Ibuprofen 3 times a day haven't done anything in the past 3 weeks.  

Heard that something similar was an epidemic in the Eastern US.  Docs here deny even hearing of it.  Pediatric Docs don't even want to see the kids for it and deny more than "a couple of cases"  Many of her friends had similar arthritic symptoms but none last for more than a couple of weeks.  

I got the rash all over, I notice that it is very sun sensitive.  I've had it for almost 4 weeks, and it's just now going away with a little rash left on my hands.  I don't have any bone or joint pain, but I do notice some fatigue.  

I'm not worried about my situation, since I think it has just run it's course with me.  I can't say the same for my wife.

Any direction plz
9 Responses
Avatar universal
Thank you for visiting the Family Practice Forum.

My first thought is Mono. However, this is not typically associated with a rash, however it may cause inflammation of the spleen, liver and pancreas. Several viruses cause what is called a "viral exanthem" which is a rash similiar to what you are describing. Has she had a test for mono?

Many times, after an infection with Mono, people will complain of muscle/joint aches after the initial illness has subsided.
Has she had an "arthritis" panel? You mention the blood test for Lupus was "normal" so I assume she has had this.

Fibromyalgia also comes to mind. Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic disease present in approximately 1 in 100 people. It is more commonly present in women ages 20-50 and is characterized by widespread pain in muscles, tendons or other fibrous or connective tissues resulting in pain without weakness.

Like I approach all questions in this forum, I think ... what would I do if you came to my office with this medical history. Without a doubt, I would send you to a Rheumatologist. I recommend you see a Rheumatologist, not a Kinesiologist.

Honestly, this really doesn't sound like Fifth's disease.
Avatar universal
Thanks very much for your reply.

She is seeing a Rheumatologist tomorrow.  

She tested negative to Mono.  Lupus, Lyme Disease and Leukemia were definitely tested.  I don't know how to read all the blood terms but the Coxsackie A Type II and IV were the only two that showed past infection possibilities, all the rest were less than 1-8.  I don't know what an arthritis panel is but there is a rheumatoid factor on the blood work, value of 3.  Hep B w/ refl, Anti Nuclear w/refl, TSH, CMV, CK, DVM ID are a few of the others on the results sheet all of those indicate negative levels.  

I think the most confusing thing to me is that she's not having soft tissue pain, not even any swelling to speak of (she did have swelling a few weeks ago for a few days).  Her joints ache but not as much as the bones between joints.  Her forearms for example are extremely sore.  Not tender to the touch, but pain radiating from the bones.  Also her shins.  She is markedly weaker though and perhaps she is interpretting the pain incorrectly.  She does liken her shin pain to shin splints, but lacking anything else to describe it like, that's the only thing she's ever felt in her shins before.  

Hopefully the Rheumatologist can shed some light.  Thanks Again.
Avatar universal
I too have had the same symptoms, and being that my children have just gotten over fifth disease, they now they think I have it. Started with rash, then a burning sensation, aching , falling asleep senation in my hands and feet. My hands were swollen for a couple of days and the swelling is comes and goes too!. The rash comes and goes, is lacey in apperance and I feel hot and swollen when I have the rash.
My hands and feet are worse at night and it is hard to type this now.
I have read that it is rare for adults to have this , can they test me to see if it truely is fifths? And I will never get this again??????
I wouldn't wish the pain on my worst enemy it can be so bad, and yes I have been made to think it is " all in my head too", but i know that i have a lacey rash, and horrible pain in my hands, feet , knees and shins too.
Hope this helps and Dr, I appreciate your thoughts! Thankyou ddcile
Avatar universal
I was almost in tears when I read this post because I couldn't believe that there was someone out there experiencing what I have been experiencing for months!  I am 32 years old I was diagnosed with "mono" in April (even though I'd had mono in college). By May I was still feeling "flu-like", fatigued, had increased lymphocytes, low WBC and I was severely anemic and my knees and elbows felt as if they were going to break! My CBCs remained the same until last month...during that time I was seen by an infectious diseases specialist who tested me for everything under the sun (My Lupus panel, Rheumatoid factor and ANA were negative), but I had positives for Epstein Barr Virus, CMV and Parvovirus B19 (Fifth Disease).  I was referred to a hematologist because of my enlarged lymphnodes, but he did no testing other than a CBC and dismissed me with
Avatar universal
Fifths Disease.  I'm a 32 year old male who went through this exact same scenario when I was 31.  Only after about two weeks of bugging my doctor, they sent me to an infectious disease specialist, who then did blood tests, and human parvovirus B-19 was the culprit.  I was having the MOST painful joints and bones all over my body.  The Dr. sent me to a physical therapist to work with to keep the joints active, and prescribe hydrocodone to sleep at night.  He also helped me wean off it, but it was a minimal amount just so I could sleep.   I would literally lay in bed, and any movement would cause immense joint pain...primarily in my shoulder joints.  It took about 3-4 solid months before the pain disappeared completely.  Tell your honey to "hang in there", I know it's tough...coincidently, my kids came down with the same thing (rash, symptoms) and it didn't even bother them.  Dr. said you can only get it once, and they were really surprised I hadn't had this at a earlier age.  Good luck!
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A related discussion, Fifth Disease was started.
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A related discussion, fifths disease in Adults was started.
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