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mystery infection

BEVERLY STANLEY bestanly at ix.netcom.com
Thu Mar 30 20:19:33 EST 1995

     See if you can figure this one out. No prize awarded because no 
confirmation possible.

       A 41 yr. old woman, after recovering from abdominal surgery 
followed by infection, followed by months on antibiotics, recovers and 
feels fine. Mother of six children, she gets her yearly flu shot.During 
the week that followed, she has severe flu-like symptoms, but is treated 
for urinary tract infection by the local managed care physician who 
really specializes in arthritic diseases, but the price was right to be 
a managed care internist. For eight weeks this woman complains of 
weakness, fatigue, and severe upper quadrant pain. Finally, six doctors 
later, she has three stones removed from her bile duct. Gallbladder was 
removed the year previous. Doctors are puzzled. She still complains of 
being ill. Three doctors later, gastro paresis is diagnosed. Propulsid 
helps. She begins exercising, but within a month comes down with typical 
meningitis-like symptoms: stiff neck, severe headache, photophobia, 
swollen glands, extreme malaise, but no fever. Two weeks later, her 
husband complains of hip pain, stiff neck, and flu-like symptoms, but no 
fever. A month later, 18 yr. old son comes down with same symptoms. A 
month after that, 15 yr. old son does same. Husband and 15 yr. old 
recover within two weeks after being diagnosed with Lyme disease, but 
all tests are negative. Oldest son still suffers from malaise and 
arthritic symptoms in knees. No rash on any of them. Four younger 
children show no signs of infection despite being outside exposed to 
ticks, zillions of gnats and mosquitos. Mother develops numbness in 
extremities, neuritis, blurred vision, and arthritic symptoms in hands 
and knees. Antibiotics never helped. Oldest son & mother have 
Epstein-Barr titers over 640. Husband & younger son negative. Six months 
later, the three males are fine, but Mother is still suffering chronic 
fatigue symptoms. 
    Question:  Was it Lyme or some virus? Why didn't the younger 
children get it despite much more exposure? Why no fever? Is it likely 
that four people in the same family would get neurolyme? Why would two 
members develop severe symptoms from EBV? Is there a vector borne virus 
that could cause meningitis, arthritis, neuritis, etc. in adults, yet 
not show effects in children? Many, many people in our area suffered 
from the same symptoms...except the younger children. Several doctors 
complained of this Lyme-like illness, rarely proven to be Lyme by 
testing, even PCR. Yet, the pediatrician who sees many more patients had 
no significant increase in this type of illness over years previous.
      I have grave doubts that it was Lyme disease. Any puzzle solvers 
out there?   Bev in NJ

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