Discussions By Condition: Infectious diseases

Bornholm Disease

Posted In: Infectious diseases 16 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • December 10, 2006
  • 01:17 PM

I had This Disease in the late 1950's. I'm a 58 yr old woman now and I've always wondered if I was the only one around who had this disease?

My curiosity about the disease has been unanswered all these years. My question is :- is it possible to have an another attack or am I immune now for life? All I do remember when I was sick I was isolated from everyone at home and the doctor called everyday. I was bedridden and felt very weak. I also felt very sad at the time as it happened on Christmas Day after we had gone to the beach.

How it was described to me at the time was I had a germ in the muscles of my chest. No-one else around me had it or got it so I've never known how I caught it. I didn't know it was infectious at the time.

Just thought I would write this as i thought I was a bit of a freak to catch something most people have never heard of then or now.

Rosemary NSW australia

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16 Replies:

  • Hi ive just been diagnosed with this disease only an hour ago and have just been looking it up on the internet as I have never heard of it before and wanted to know about it. It can be quite scary to have as your first thought you think ur at danger of a heart attack. I have been told that it is actually more common in people my age (22) and my doctor told me had had diagnosed this to 3 other ppl in the last couple of weeks so it must be a lot more common now.Commonly known as the devils grip thats certainly what it feels like. And ive had some really sharp pains now and again which causes me to go quite flushed n dizzy but a minute later everything is fine again, compared to the constant annoying tightness in the chest area that remains there. the only thing to take for it is strong paracetamol which does ease the pain. Ive had this feeling since saturday and i was told it can last anything up to 3 weeks.Hope it doesnt !! hope this helps anyone who might catch this...seemingly one in every ten million lol
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 6, 2007
    • 04:50 PM
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  • It is caused by the Coxsackie B virus. You should now have life long immunity however there are lots of strains of Coxsackie virus and you are immune to the one you had but not the other strains but I dont know how many cause Bornholm disease or Devils grip, so you will probably be OK for life.
    chrismia 159 Replies
    • February 7, 2007
    • 07:06 PM
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  • I was diagnosed with angina and have had severe chest pain for 18 months. I recently had an angiogram which was negative. From what I have heard about Bornholm Disease, I seem to have all of the symptoms and very interested to hear how common it is. My neighbour lost his brother, age 26, with this disease some years ago and I wonder whether there is any treatment for the virus that causes this condition. I am 79 years of age and whilst I have the symptoms of this problem, it hasn't been confirmed medically, that that is the actual problem.Bruce, Hamilton New Zealand.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • i had this disease when i was eight, which was 1970. it lasted 2 weeks and came and went and the pain was excruciating stabbing in the back, chest and abdomen. I hallucinated and fell out of bed before my parents took me to the doctors and by that time they diagnosed me with polio. Luckily, it turned out to be Bornholm Disease. I think it may have reoccured after surgery in 2000, but i can't prove that. I had the same kind of pain and could hardly take a breath. I stood up for 4 straight hours, couldn't move and thought i was going to die. It was definitely the devil's grip - you don't forget that pain. The reason I am writing you is to commiserate, of course, but more importantly because the Coxsackie B virus is now being identified in people diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Enough Fibromyalgia and CFIDS sufferers have had this virus for it to be flagged as a possible trigger for these diseases. It has taken me hours and hours of reading and researching to uncover the connection. The link is a relatively new discovery and opinions are still being formed on the subject. I have been in ill health for five years now and just can't seem to rebound from the fatigue that plagues me.I have had myalgic symptoms since I had this virus, my parents labeled me lazy because subsequent to this virus I never could get enough rest, my focus and concentration declined and I was always very sensitive with my nerves being very on edge. Now, after years of stress and poor diet I have compounded the problem and progressed into full blown fatigue from which I can't recover - regardless of how much I sleep. My body's immune system doesn't work very well at all. Recurrent respiratory infections, flu, sinusitis, pneumonia, food sensitivities, allergies that make me ill. So, while you may not get Bornholm Disease again, beware of the connection to unexplained fatigue, FM and CFS and take extra special care of your immune system through a healthy diet, moderate exercise and plenty of rest. Hope you are well now and fully recover!Your friend in this,Steph
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Other half diagnosed today. doctor states more cases in last month than in his last 30 years as a GP. Co-codamol didn't touch it and is now on 3 types of painkiller. How is it diagnosed? Can it be mis-diagnosed? He had a quad heart by-pass 12 years ago so references to nearly died and died from it are really worrying!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had this illness in my early twenties shortly after travel to turkey. It was excruciatingly painful but I made a full recovery aftter two weeks bed rest, ( could not move for the pain) However when I was 24 many people in my villiage got a bad flu. I got ill and then carried on with Myalgic Encephalomyelistis for 8 years. My specialist looked at my medical history and highlighted Bornholms as the cause. I was previously fit and healthy. Since recovery I have been able to walk and get fit even jogging ( was previously both bed and then wheel chair bound). I am well and active but have to live a flexible life style. However having just visited Egypt I came home ill with a tummy bug, as did my seven year old, we struggled and were stressed. Two months later i developed Bornholms again, this time knowing what it is i stopped activity, and cut short the pain and severity _ this is my advice _ listen to your body, rest, even between episodes of pain- it is your best chance. It is vitally important. de-stress and get a good GP in case you might need them. Take two weeks off and don't worry that that feelsl like a long time - 8 years is a long time ! and also be aware to rest more next time you get ill, every time you get ill.. no taking super strength pain killers and battling on..My seven year old has now been diagnosed with it, it has damaged his vision and he has constant headaches. sam
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Im 19 an i was diagnosed with bornholmes when i was 16.It took ages for my doctor to find out what it was, and i found nothing helpful on the internet. The symptoms have never really gone away, iv always had painful twinges in my chest and nothing seems to help ease the pain. (Im suffering with it now) i have no idea how i got it, but i find that now it is triggered by stress. I get an excruciating sharp pain in my chest, get hot and go dizzy, sometimes makes me feel sick and causes difficulty breathing. I dont even bother going to the doctor anymore as all he does is give me some pain killers which dont help. So i just stay in bed and sleep.Dani. UK
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 13, 2007
    • 01:48 AM
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  • How do I tell if it's just a sever knotting of the muscles in my side, or bornholm disease? A year ago, on one side, the muscles in my rib cage low down, extending round the lower back and round to the front, suddenly went into such a severe cramp that I was immobilised and in agony for about 60secs to one minute. This went on in waves for about a fortnight. Just touching the muscles around my back and side would trigger it. I don't remember having any fever or lung pain though. And now I am getting some symptoms in the the same muscle, it's threatening to go into cramp again, though hasn't so far. An alternative doctor I saw tested me for viruses and said I have coxsackie B which could explain the muscle cramps, but I'm not sure. I do sometimes have muscle cramps behind the shoulder blades which is slightly debilitating, but nothing compared to the aptly named 'devils grip' of last year which was excutiating. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 23, 2007
    • 05:30 PM
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  • I was released yesterday after four days in the hospital. I went in to the ER with excruciatiating pain in my chest. I was very sure it was a heart attack. My blood pressure was 195/107. They gave me an aspirin and nitro right away and proceded to do two EKG's. I had morphine and toradol for pain. I was crying with the pain. I was admitted and over the course of the next 4 days, had xrays, cat scans, nuclear med stress test, heart cath and an EKG. They did happen upon the fact that I have atrial tachycardia but admitted this had nothing to do with my pain. I was dismissed with a diagnosisis of a "very irritated stomach." When I got home, a friend called and said a friend of a friend had "Devil's Grip" and that it sounded maybe like what I had. I am wondering now if it is what I have. I can't help but think for such severe pain, there HAS to be an official diagnosis. My stomach conitinues t ohurt; it feels like someone punched me in the stomach (upper) as hard as they could, several times. I almost want to lay in the fetal position because of the pain....Today is day # 5 and it has lessened just a bit over the last couple days. My concerns are: If I have this, is it contagious? Can I get it again? How long will it last? Is it dangerous to be around pregnant women?Thanks for any insight you might have. This was a terrible thing to experience.
    fremontgal 2 Replies
    • February 29, 2008
    • 03:31 PM
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  • I was released yesterday after four days in the hospital. I went in to the ER with excruciatiating pain in my chest. I was very sure it was a heart attack. My blood pressure was 195/107. They gave me an aspirin and nitro right away and proceded to do two EKG's. I had morphine and toradol for pain. I was crying with the pain. I was admitted and over the course of the next 4 days, had xrays, cat scans, nuclear med stress test, heart cath and an EGD. They did happen upon the fact that I have atrial tachycardia but admitted this had nothing to do with my pain. I was dismissed with a diagnosisis of a "very irritated stomach." When I got home, a friend called and said a friend of a friend had "Devil's Grip" and that it sounded maybe like what I had. I am wondering now if it is what I have. I can't help but think for such severe pain, there HAS to be an official diagnosis. My stomach conitinues t ohurt; it feels like someone punched me in the stomach (upper) as hard as they could, several times. I almost want to lay in the fetal position because of the pain....Today is day # 5 and it has lessened just a bit over the last couple days. My concerns are: If I have this, is it contagious? Can I get it again? How long will it last? Is it dangerous to be around pregnant women?Thanks for any insight you might have. This was a terrible thing to experience.
    fremontgal 2 Replies
    • February 29, 2008
    • 04:15 PM
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  • OMG this is amazing! This is exactly what I have had for 8-weeks! I've seen neurologists, cardiologists and a rheumatologist today who diagnosed me with this. I have gripping pain around by throat, massive chest pains, radiating pain around my chest and into my back, nausea, fatigue, headaches, really bad concerntration problems and I began getting depressed bc I didnt know what was happening to me. I am now convinced it is NOT a heart problem, lung problem or muscle/joint/bone problem because the symptoms dont fit any of these conditions and I've had MRI scans etc. After having it for 6-weeks a good cardiologist told me to take pain killers and anti-inflam's EVERY FOUR HOURS. This really really helped me and I finally began to feel human again for the first time in weeks!!! The pain is still under there and it creeps back toward the end of the four hours but at least I can function!! I also feel more positive knowing this is just a virus and I will recover. At least I don't have something seriously life threatening! My specialist said that like any virus most people recover within 3 months, and nearly everyone is over it by 6 months. But you do need pain killers and rest to make sure you dont get chronic fatigue syndrome. I assume this virus is similar to herpes and other viruses that tend to flair up when your stressed or over tired. That's a bummer to know, but if if it happens I will go back onto the pain killers as soon as I get the symptoms rather than running off to the the Emeregency Dept of the local hospital. Can I just say I had tried sporadic pain killers and anti-inflams (Volatarin) in the first few weeks but they didnt help. It wasn't until I took them 4 hourly for 4 days that the pain disappeared so make sure you do this if you have this condition! Always take anti-inflams with food so you dont get a stomach ulcer.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Well the last post above this was mine. I've come back to see if anyone has written anything else. Well I have now had this for FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS and counting!!!Yes it sounds odd that it wont go away. I know!!! The gripping pain around my whole chest cavity, throat and neck is still there. Basically all the symptoms are the same but chronic rather than acute. I probably have post viral fatigue also but the pains are definately and unmistakably still there. So I am now going off to an infectious diseases specialist looking for more answers. Yes I am concerned I was initally diagnosed incorrectly and this is something else bad. No I am not depressed, thank god, but I'm now seeing a psychologist and cutting down to part time as I cant work a full day. It frustrates me that there is such little information about this around. I have come across 3 other people who said they had this. When you speak to a doctor they have no idea and look it up on the internet infront of you. I mean come on, we're paying for expert advice! And trying to see a specialist...well that's at least a one to two month wait. Anyway I'll write again to say how I went because I want others in my situation to know someone else in this world knows what they are going through!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Six months on now. No change. Same symptoms...still on the medical investigations path and going nowhere. Well it takes ages for each appt and they all think its Borhholmes apart from the fact its lasting for ages. And I mean all day, everyday.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have had pain around my mid-section for years. I have been to every kind of doctor imagineable. My GP referred me to a "hurting-all-over-and-don't-know-why" doctor (a rheumatologist that specializes in fibromyalgia. This physician basically told me I am nuts. He starts with "I'm not saying this is what you have, BUT, have you considered post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, anxiety..... I was soooo mad that I had taken my time as well as his for absolutely nothing. Long story short, I had changed GPs (one closer to me). I was having some chest pains and he sent me for a stress echo. This echo showed some abnormality so I was sent for a cardiac cath which turned out fine. My GP then ran a battery of blood test which come back positive for the coxsackie B virus. He calls me back several weeks later and tells me I have Bornholm Disease. At last we may be getting somewhere. This could explain my extreme fatigue, difficulty with concentration and aches. I am a pharmacist and have to admit that I do not know much about this disease. I am looking for a specialist to help me better understand this disease. Every thing I read says Bornholm is an acute disease. It should not last for years????
    phughes 1 Replies
    • August 20, 2008
    • 00:56 AM
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  • to the guy that keeps on reporting back with a current outbreak of Bornholms. I took my first bout in Jan 2000 and it lasted for more than 2 years . My GP and consultant said that I had the worst strain they have seen, nowadays i always have minor pain and it does come back worse in bouts. But for me I now manage it with 1) Diclofenac 150 mg a day and a painkiller for the really bad times I breakout the heavy artillery and always keep a packet of amitriptelene handy these work better than anything else unfortunately I did not know about them during my first few years. I also find that it is stress related, you need also to rest and look after yourself generally. For some reason I also find antihistamines useful. Watch out for the connected illnesses as I have had those myocarditis, pericarditis etc ..but good luck I know this sucks
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 13, 2008
    • 09:53 PM
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  • One year ago, after a bout of whooping cough, I was rushed to the emergency room with severe pain in my intercostl muscles on one side--so severe, it made me scream out whenever I moved. I was diagnosed with a torn muscle from the coughing of whooping cough and sent home with an antispasmodic medication. I was told the pain would last weeks--but in four days, it was gone entirely. However, about 2 weeks later, it came back, though not as severe. Since then it's come back numerous times in less severe form. I've done extensive research and it is quite clear to me I had a misdiagnosed case of Bornholm disease (I also had other common symptoms of the disease along with the muscle pain, including diarrhea, headache, upper respiratory symptoms, and herpangina). It is from message boards like this that I discovered that Bornholm disease can be persistent or chronic, and can reappear after periods of latency. Please note the antispasmodics worked like a dream--ask for them if you have this.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
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