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Parvovirus B19

I often think I have the worse disease possible.

3 months ago, I was in the process of switching jobs when I caught a bug from my boys. It's parvovirus B19. I immediately thought I had kidney failure, liver failure, and the rash scared me and I thought it was Steven Johnsons.

I then felt fatigued and read online about people that got chronic fatigue from parvovirus or post viral stuff.

I stopped sleeping most nights, panic attacks occasionally, crying, terrified that is my life.

Currently, I sleep maybe 4-5 hours, maybe a couple of 8 hour nights, worry all day, read about this all day. I've talked to 5 doctors, 3 ID docs. I tell them about my symptoms they say fatigue can last months.

I'm not sure if this is the virus or me. I can't tell. My wife and boys caught this bug, it's common. Most people have had it.

Mind started by reading bad cases online and one woman's blog about chronic parvo. In the past, I've convinced myself that I've had other diseases like ALS, MS, cancer, HIV,

I'm  very tired, mouth feels dry at times, I feel like I'm constantly wearing a helmet, band around my head, eye pressure or pain, burning eye lids, can't focus.

. I'm starting a new job in 3 weeks. I'm a professional with tons of stress and responsibility. I'm afraid of being disabled. My family needs me.

my labs were positive for parvovirus, pcr/Igm/IgG. So I did catch the bug. Oddly my ebv labs showed high EA IgG too. Maybe reactivation or cross reaction.

at this point, I just don't know what's real or if this is just all anxiety. I get terrible health anxiety during times of transition. Last week, I thought I had a dvt too.

5 Responses
1415174 tn?1453246703
Hi and sorry you got Parvo B19. But it sounds like your symptoms are not like those of the chronic type. What I understand about this disease is that when you get the IgM that is a sign of the end of the disease. Also, sometimes you can get arthritis but this is for a few months and is not chronic and not degenerative.

If you are not immune compromised and have no reason to think you have HIV or MS or Cancer by any particular symptoms such as major weight loss or a lump  or with HIV an risky exposure then you don't need to add that to your list of anxiety.

Because you got parvo why did you think that you got liver failure etc.? Was there any rational reason for it other than fear?

It is very rare to get any chronic type and if you do it is usually due to a  lowered immune system or existing anemia etc. So if you don't have this then you don't have to worry about it becoming a big problem.

It sounds like you got depressed and then lack of sleep and over worried. I think you are going to be okay. Some doctors are alarmists.

Do you have any fever? How long have you had it now? It usually lasts about a week and a half unless you get the arthritis then that can last a few months and goes away. Headache is a symptom, as well as muscle pain , nausea, nasal problems, then you get the classic "slap cheek" rash.
But the rash may only be seen in children.  Did you get any swelling of the hands or feet? Usually the chronic symptoms you are talking about are with people that have other problems such as anemia, transplants, and severe immune issues which I don't see that you have.

I think some of the symptoms will go away when you de-stress. Not that all of them are stress related but dry mouth and things like that might be and depending on how long you have had it you should start to feel better.

Does this help? I hope so. Let me know if you have any questions.


Avatar universal
Thanks...That does help, but I am an alarmist too.  I have health anxiety and my sleep hasn't returned and I'm a bit obsessed with this. I worry about it most days, all day, and my energy level is low these days.

I'm generally physically healthy.  I felt fatigued at the end of the first week of having the virus, this was 3 1/2 months ago, and I read about "chronic fatigue syndrome" secondary to parvovirus and that scared me so much that I stopped sleeping well. There is a person that has a "living with parvo" blog that I read about soon after I caught this bug and that really scared me.

I'm just not sure if it's the virus now or if it's all my anxiety and poor sleep. I sleep about 5hrs a night most nights, a few 4 hour nights....then every few days I'll get an 8 hour night. THe first month, I was so scared that I slept some nights 2hrs.  So, tons of sleep debt.

I have moments where I almost feel normal, relaxed. I'm just very tired. I can't tell if the fatigue is me or the bug. Did I do this to myself?

I have so much pressure on me from work and family and life.  I have so many responsibilities and being sick is so scary.  I panic easily. I worry all the time.

I have convinced myself in the past that I've had many diseases like HIV, cancer, brain tumor, various organ failures, DVT, etc.

So, it's hard to know what's real and not real.  

But I am very tired as I write this. I slept maybe 7 hrs last night, but about 5 the few nights before. Prior to this, I would sleep most nights about 7-8hrs.

Thanks for your support...
1415174 tn?1453246703
It sounds to me like you have severe anxiety. Not parvo.I really think you have worked yourself up into fear of chronic parvo. So that your fight or flight response has taken over. I am sorry to hear about that. I had anxiety when I hurt my back and tried pills and that made me very sick. So I would suggest to you that you go to an integrative medicine doctor and see their biofeedback person for anxiety. It helped me so much. It does take a few months to really go away. But you learn how do deep breathing with the monitor on and you can see/learn how to do it right. Then you practice twice a day at home with a mp3 player or earphones with a recorded version of it. Ask them for a recording at the end to take home. Also, start walking or jogging. The walking helped me also. You get your mind off of the problems you have and over a couple of months your fight or flight response goes back to normal (the is the parasympathetic and sympathetic have to be about even). Then you will feel so much better. Stop reading the blogs. They are not always correct. There is a lot of hype out there. Same thing with EBV virus. A lot of that is untrue as well.
So, I want you take that step and then hear your progress.
Avatar universal
I'll try. It's hard when you get yourself so worked up believing something. I struggle with this and it's painful and hard to know what's real.

I truly hate that. The Internet has not helped me.
1415174 tn?1453246703
Yes I know it is hard. It is the fight or flight response. You need to work on the breathing technique which will bring that feeling down. That person that said they had chronic parvo either had other problems or doesn't know they have some other chronic fatigue problem. But one day at a time.
take care,
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