Discussions By Condition: Infectious diseases

A conundrum! Possibly tropical fever etc.

Posted In: Infectious diseases 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Carumba
  • April 11, 2012
  • 10:07 PM

Hi All,

I would be very grateful for any ideas you have on a health problem I have...

Normally based in the UK, I travelled to Ghana during the first week of 2012. There I suffered some diarreah and fatigue, likely due to food poisoning and took Pepto Bismol for it. While there I did eat some peanuts from a dodgy source and potentially some food which could have been poorly prepared. Over the next few weeks I developed a sore throat and hoarse voice. Then early February this got worse to include headaches, nausea, dizzyness, fever and chills which have been causing me some real problems. Early Feb I presented myself to the doctor who did a swab for strep (negative) and then referred me for a throat endoscopy. The endoscopy revealed only swelling, and a battery of standard blood tests then performed also had nothing of any note (including mono/GF and malaria both negative). This took some weeks all to do, during which time the doc prescribed my dexamethasone to reduce the inflammation, which helped only temporarily. Around mid Feb I got a very tight lower back (unrelated to exercise) and some muscle pains. After all the tests came back they revealed no diagnosis, so I am very much in the dark. There is no regular cycle of the fevers, I only know that when I used a steam room when the fever had subsided, the next day the sore throat was terrible! A course of Penicillin V was prescribed, which did nothing, then as I had to go back to West Africa I started doxycycline for malaria prophylaxis. It seems that the doxycycline has helped a bit with the sore throat but I still have a dull headache all the time and a dizzyness which is very troubling. The antibiotic treatment is blind or empirical as there is no evidence this is caused by bacteria. Next the doctor has prescribed me with clarithromycin in case it is a ppenicillin resistant bacterium. I am concerned that we are barking up the wrong tree with antibiotics, but clearly don't really know.

This is quite a problem for me as I am a public speaker and have been losing my voice. My doctor wants to refer me to a specialist but this will take 3 months here in the UK. If anyone has any suggestions of treatment or diagnostic tests I should ask him to provide, I would be very grateful. I feel constantly tired which is so different to my usual energetic self, the fatigue gets you down :-(

One other concern is that my girlfriend is now complaining of similar symptoms to me, but about 5 weeks later. Now the lower back pain has just hit. I have traveled a lot so it could be one of many things. By no means is this definitely a tropical illness, but it seems to be infectious? Lassa fever? Some kind of parasite?

Thanks all, hope to be able to put a stop to this now after more than three months of troubles!


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