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redblood cell count and viruses

Posted by Judy on April 29, 1999 at 10:30:19
My son had a virus and was hospitalized for dehydration.  The next day he had seizures and had such a low red blood cell count that he was given 3 blood transfusions.  The doctors said that the virus had something to do with his rbs's dropping.  How can this be possible?

Posted by hfhs.m.d.l.m on April 29, 1999 at 23:23:14
Dear Judy ;
Certain viruses have the capability of suppressing or arresting the red cell line production in the bone marrow , such as the parvovirus responsible for "erythema infectiousum " or slapped cheeks syndrome , characterized by a high fever , flushed cheeks and febrile seizures .Other occasions , the body's immune system produces antibodies against a specific virus that may recognize the red cells as foreign cells , bind to them and destroy them as in the hemolytic anemia of infectious mononucleosis caused by the ( EBV ).
Three transfusions is quite significant . Viral infections don't tend to produce remarkable anemia . Hemoglobin levels may decrease from 10-12 down to 7-9 gm/dl unless there was underlying blood loss , underlying low red cell count or hemolytic disorder such as sickle cell anemia .
Thank you for your question
Disclaimer : this information is intended for educational purposes only .
Keywords : Parvovirus B19 infections , anemia

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