Viral Illness Survey Case Summaries: Additional Illnesses

 

 

Go To Overview Page

 

May 11, 2020

By Lisa Petrison, Ph.D.

This page provides a summary of the case reports from some of the first individuals to respond to the Paradigm Change Coronavirus Covid-19 and Viral Illness Survey.

Individuals included on this page are those who had an illness onset of prior to December 1, 2019, and whose illnesses seem to me to have a reasonably strong likelihood of being caused by a different kind of infection or other health issue rather than by Covid-19.

An overview of the initial summary results is provided on a separate Paradigm Change blog page.

 

Overview

Number of cases: 6

Average Severity Score: 21

Severity Score Range: 10-40

 

Recovery Status (21+ Days):

6 cases

50% – Totally recovered

33% – Mostly recovered

17% – Acute viral-type symptoms basically resolved but chronic illness issues are worse

 

Illness Onset:

17% – November 2019

33% – December 2019

17% – February 2020

33% – March 2020

 

Chronic Illness History (ME/CFS/CIRS/Lyme/etc.):

17% – Severe

50% – Mild

33% – None

 

Severe Symptoms: 

Runny nose, 33%; Wet cough, 17%; Headache, 17%; Sore throat, 17%; Difficulties swallowing, 17%; Muscle aches, 17%; Generally feel terrible, 17%

 

Moderate or Severe Symptoms: 

Headache, 67%; Weakness, 67%; Generally feel terrible, 67%; Runny nose, 50%; Elevated temperature, 50%; Feverish feelings, 50%; Muscle aches, 50%; Tiredness, 50%; Nausea, 33%; Abdominal pain, 33%; Chills, 33%; Sleepiness, 33%; Wet cough, 17%; Sore throat, 17%; Difficulties swallowing, 17%; Loss of appetite, 17%; Bone pain, 17%; Joint pain, 17%; Pain when moving body parts, 17%; Sneezing, 17%

 

Mild, Moderate or Severe:

Headache, 83%; Runny nose, 83%; Weakness, 83%; Tiredness, 83%; Generally feel terrible, 83%; Chills, 67%; Muscle aches, 67%; Sore throat, 50%; Elevated temperature, 50%; Feverish feelings, 50%; Sneezing, 50%; Sleepiness, 50%; Difficulty breathing, 33%; Shortness of breath, 33%; Lung pressure, 33%; Difficulties swallowing, 33%; Vomiting, 33%; Loss of appetite, 33%; Nausea, 33%; Abdominal pain, 33%; Pain when moving body parts, 33%; Lung pain, 17%; Wet cough, 17%; Dry cough, 17%; Sore voice, 17%; Dehydration, 17%; Diarrhea, 17%; Bone pain, 17%; Joint pain, 17%

 

Candace

Author Comments: This individual experienced a high fever with sore throat and runny nose, and without cough or lung symptoms, in late November. It seems that it may have been a different illness such as a particularly bad flu.

Patient Number: 9

Current Condition: I feel totally recovered

Severity Score: 26

Time Since Onset: 109 days

Onset Location: Central Pennsylvania

Prior Locations:  Southeastern Pennsylvania

Chronic Illness History: Mild

Mold Avoidance: Yes

Onset Date: 11/29/19

Lung Severity:  I didn’t experience lung symptoms

High Fever:  101-102F (usually normal)

Bedridden During Illness:  Not really bedridden but slept a great deal

Relapse: I experienced improvements without substantial relapse

Duration:  Severe – 2 days; Moderate – 3 days; Mild – 7 days

Initial Symptom: Slight sore throat

Severe Symptoms: Sore/painful throat; Difficulties swallowing; Runny/stuffy nose; Generally feeling terrible

Moderate Symptoms: Headache; Loss of appetite; Elevated temperature; Feverish feelings; Chills

Mild Symptoms: Sneezing; Weakness; Tiredness; Sleepiness

Not An Issue: Sore voice; Dehydration; Diarrhea; Vomiting; Feelings of nausea; Loss of smell; Loss of taste; Abdominal pain; Blue lips or face; Muscle aches; Bone pain; Joint pain; Pain when moving body parts

Suspect Illness (compared to colds/flus):  Different symptoms, more severe

Practitioner:  Saw

Decade Born: 1960’s

Gender: Female

Living: House

Previous Colds/Flus:  One or two per year

Blood Pressure:  Normal (no medication)

Chronic Conditions:  Toxic Mold Illness

Worst Neurological:  Not experienced

ME/CFS:  Mild – Headaches, Muscle/Joint Pain, Sensitivities; Not A  Problem – PEM, Cognitive, OI, Unrefreshing Sleep

Most severe activity level: Could be active 60 hours per week

Recent activity level: Could be active 60 hours per week

Mold Avoidance: Made big effort, improved a great deal

Mold Avoidance Skill: Not that great

Mold Exposure: Mostly clear

HH Member #1:  1960’s; No chronic illness; No acute illness

Very Helpful: Azithromycin; Rest; Gargling

Somewhat Helpful: Cough drops

No Effect: Vicks VapoRub; Bathe and change clothes frequently

Don’t know: Reduce stress

Illness Description: I started on Friday with a slight sore throat that by Saturday was gone and I felt okay all day Saturday. On Sunday I had a slight cough but nothing major. I woke up on Monday with a fever, sore throat, hurting ears, and a headache. I felt like I wanted to die. I had a friend take me to urgent care where I was told it was viral & they couldn’t do anything for me except give me an inhaler and prednisone – I didn’t get either prescription filled. I had no nasal drainage. They offered to do a flu test but said since I was past point of treating it, they said why bother (plus I’m self-pay so I really didn’t want the extra expense). From Monday to Wednesday I dealt with fever and a cough. On Thursday my sinuses opened up & started draining. I used an entire box of tissues in less than 24 hours. On Friday I was so tired of having fever & my drainage was turning colors (yellow/green) so I decided to go to my PP. They prescribed an antibiotic for a sinus infection. I finally started feeling better once I started taking the antibiotic. I had a lingering cough for several weeks. To be honest I’m not really sure what I had at the beginning. My sister & I had been to a place that was selling yarn they obtained through the sale of the building. My sister has a sensitive system to mold where I only had one really bad reaction in February 2019. I didn’t think much about the conditions of the building but my sister didn’t feel well when she got home (I learned this info later). When I got so sick the beginning of December, another sister asked me if I had been around mold – my first response was no but then I asked my sister who was with me in that building & she told me she had a reaction. So, was I dealing with a mold reaction, a virus, or the start of a sinus infection? Or possibly a combination of things?

 

Charlotte

This individual came up positive on an Influenza B test during the illness in question.

Patient Number: 111

Current Condition: I feel mostly recovered

Severity Score: 40

Time Since Onset: 135 days

Onset Location: Long Beach, CA

Chronic Illness History: Severe

Mold Avoidance: Somewhat

Onset Date: 12/21/19

Lung Date: 12/22/19

Lung Symptom Lag: 1 day

Lung Severity: Moderate

High Fever: 103F (usually normal)

Bedridden During Illness:  Totally bedridden

Relapse: Improvements without substantial relapse.

Duration:  Mild – 7 days

Initial Symptoms: Body aches, fever, dry cough, shortness of breath

Severe Symptoms: Wet cough

Moderate Symptoms: Nausea; Abdominal pain; Elevated temperature; Feverish feelings; Chills; Muscle aches; Bone pain; Joint pain; Weakness; Tiredness; Sleepiness; Generally feeling terrible

Mild Symptoms: Difficulty breathing; Shortness of breath; Lung/chest pain; Lung/chest pressure; Dry cough; Headache; Sore/painful throat; Difficulties swallowing; Diarrhea; Vomiting; Pain when moving body parts; Runny/stuffy nose; Sneezing

Not An Issue: Pneumonia; Bronchitis; Sore voice; Dehydration; Loss of appetite; Loss of smell; Loss of taste; Blue lips or face

Suspect Illness (compared to colds/flus):  More severe

Practitioner:  Saw a practitioner (tested positive for Influenza B)

Decade Born: 2000’s

Gender: Female

Living: Apartment

Previous Colds/Flus:  One or two per year

Flu Shot: Definitely not

Blood Pressure:  Normal (not on medication)

Chronic Conditions: POTS; Exercise-induced asthma

Worst Neurological:  Not experienced

ME/CFS:  Severe – Muscle/joint pain; Moderate – OI, Headaches, Unrefreshing Sleep; Mild – PEM; Not a problem – Cognitive, Sensitivities

Most severe activity level: Basically bedridden but could participate in conversations

Recent activity level: Could be active 40 hours a week

Mold Avoidance: Made some effort, health stayed about the same

Mold Avoidance Skill: Not able to do that at all

Mold Exposure: Not sure

 

Sandra

This is an extended illness characterized primarily by runny/stuffy nose and sneezing, with no fever, acquired on a trip to Panama on 12/30/19. It seems possibly like a very bad cold.

Patient Number: 19

Current Condition: I feel mostly recovered.

Severity Score: 10

Time Since Onset: 82 days

Onset Location: Pedasi, Los Santos, Panama

Prior Locations:  Panama City, Las Tablas, La Chorrera, Pedesi

Home Location (Returned After Getting Sick): St. Petersburg, Florida

Chronic Illness History: Mild

Mold Avoidance: Somewhat

Onset Date: 12/30/19

Lung Date: 2/10/20

Lung Symptom Lag: 43 days

Lung Severity: Mild Problem

High Fever:  Not a problem

Relapse: Experienced improvements without substantial relapse.

Duration:  Mild illness – 80 days

Initial Symptom: Woke up at my motel in the morning with never ending nasal discharge. Was chilled the night before as soon as I went in a pool. I immediately got out and did a hot shower and went to bed.

Very Severe Symptoms: Runny/stuffy nose

Moderate Symptoms: Sneezing

Mild Symptoms: Difficulty breathing; Shortness of breath; Lung/chest pressure; Sore voice

Not An Issue: Lung/chest pain; Dry cough; Wet cough; Pneumonia; Bronchitis; Headache; Sore/painful throat; Difficulties swallowing; Dehydration; Diarrhea; Vomiting; Feelings of nausea; Loss of appetite; Loss of smell; Loss of taste; Abdominal pain; Blue lips or face; Elevated temperature; Feverish feelings; Chills; Muscle Aches; Bone pain; Joint pain; Pain when moving body parts; Weakness; Tiredness; Sleepiness; Generally feeling terrible

Additional Symptoms: Nasal congestion with phlegm after 3 weeks.coughing but no fever, no stomach issues. Just never ending nasal congestion that lasted for 8 weeks. Coughing from drip down the back of my nose. Never got raw as I made sure I was hydrated.

Practitioner:  Saw

Decade Born: 1950’s

Gender: Female

Living: Condominium

Previous Colds/Flus:  Rarely or never

Blood Pressure:  Normal (no medicine)

Chronic Conditions:  Asthma, Allergy

Worst Neurological:  Not sure

ME/CFS:  Moderate – Sensitivities; Mild – Muscle/joint pain;  Not a problem – PEM, Cognitive, OI, Headaches, Unrefreshing sleep

Most severe activity level: Basically bedridden

Recent activity level: Could be active 60+ hours

Mold Avoidance: Made a big effort (health improved a great deal)

Mold Avoidance Skill: Not that great

Mold Exposure: Not clear at all

Critically Important: Vitamin C (2000 mg); Vitamin D; Iodine; Selenium; Colloidal silver (drinking nasal cavity; nebulized); Bathe and change clothes; Rest; Stay out of moldy buildings; Sun exposure; Nebulizer (colloidal silver and hydrogen peroxide); Rinsing sinuses (colloidal silver)

Very Helpful: Spend time outdoors in good locations

Somewhat Helpful: Zinc; Probiotics; Cough Drops; Vicks Vaporub; Reduce stress;

No Effect: Vitamin A; Azithromycin; Prednisone; Stay warm

Don’t know: Alcohol; Raw honey; Antiviral;

Additional Very Helpful: Nebulizer with colloidal silver and some H202; Vicks on the feet to sleep with socks on; Hot tea, whiskey, honey and lemon

 

Jackie

Patient Number: 47

Current Condition: I feel basically recovered from the acute viral symptoms, but other chronic illness issues are worse than before I got the Suspect Illness. (Headaches worse, fatigue may be slightly worse)

Severity Score: 19

Time Since Onset: 38 days

Onset Location: Tucson, Arizona

Chronic Illness History: Mild

Mold Avoidance: Yes

Onset Date: 2/14/20

Lung Severity: No lung symptoms

High Fever: 101-102 (usual temperature is low)

Bedridden During Illness: Not really bedridden but slept a great deal

Relapse: Experienced improvements without substantial relapse

Initial Symptom: 101 fever; Severe headache; Body aches; Stuffy nose; General malaise, weakness

Moderate Symptoms: Headache; Elevated temperature; Feverish feelings; Muscle aches; Runny/stuffy nose; Weakness; Tiredness; Sleepiness; Generally feeling terrible

Mild Symptoms: Chills

Not An Issue: Sore/painful throat; Difficulties swallowing; Sore voice; Dehydration; Diarrhea; Vomiting; Feelings of nausea; Loss of appetite; Loss of smell; Loss of taste; Abdominal pain; Blue lips or face; Bone pain; Joint pain; Pain when moving body parts; Sneezing

Additional Symptoms: This had a very sudden onset (typical of flu) and I was only very sick with fever for one day, then fever and body aches went away and I mostly felt like I had a cold (stuffy nose etc) for a few days after that. So it went away much faster than flu usually does.

Practitioner: Discussed with practitioner on phone/Internet. “I think we both assumed it was the flu.”

Decade Born: 1960’s

Gender: Female

Living: House

Previous Colds/Flus: One or two per year

Usual Blood Pressure: Low (no medication)

Chronic Conditions: Autoimmune Illness; Chronic/Post Lyme; Food Sensitivities; MCAS; Psychiatric Issues (Major Depressive Disorder); Toxic Mold Illness

Worst Neurological: Mild

ME/CFS: Moderate – Headaches, Unrefreshing Sleep, Sensitivities; Mild – PEM, Cognitive, OI, Muscle/Joint Pain

Most severe activity level: Could be active 30 hours per week

Recent activity level: Could be active 30 hours per week

Mold Avoidance: Made big effort, health has stayed the same

Mold Avoidance Skill: Not that great

Mold Exposure: Mostly clear

Medical treatment: I have CIRS, but milder than many. I was also on several antibiotics for Lyme when I got the viral illness. I asked my functional medicine and Lyme doc if I should go off antibiotics when I got sick. She suggested cutting my dose for a few days and adding Transfer Factor Multi Immune and Astragalus to my already long supplement regimen. It felt just like the flu at first, but I recovered from it much faster than normal for the flu (usually flu symptoms last a week or two. With this illness, the fever and body aches were pretty severe but only lasted a day, then I had a stuffy nose for a few more days, then it was gone.

 

Justin

Patient Number: 68

Current Condition: I feel totally recovered

Severity Score: 13

Time Since Onset: 26 days

Onset Location: Torfaen, Wales, UK

Prior Locations:  Pontypool/Cwmbran, Wales, UK

Chronic Illness History: None

Mold Avoidance: Somewhat

Onset Date: 3/8/20

Lung Severity: Not a problem

High Fever:  Not a problem

Bedridden During Illness:  Not really bedridden but slept a great deal

Relapse: Experienced improvements without substantial relapse

Duration:  Moderate – 3 days; Mild – 10 days

Initial Symptom: Fatigue; Aching; Headache

Severe Symptoms: Muscle aches

Moderate Symptoms:  Headache; Pain when moving body parts; Weakness; Tiredness

Mild Symptoms: Sore/painful throat; Generally feeling terrible

Not An Issue: Difficulties swallowing; Sore voice; Dehydration; Diarrhea; Vomiting; Nausea; Loss of appetite; Loss of smell; Loss of taste; Abdominal pain; Blue lips/pain; Elevated temperature; Feverish feelings; Chills; Bone pain; Joint pain; Runny/stuffy nose; Sneezing; Sleepiness

Suspect Illness (compared to colds/flus):  Different symptoms

Practitioner:  Not discussed (doubt that would be able to help)

Decade Born: 1970’s

Gender: Male

Living: House

Flu Shot: Definitely not

Chronic Conditions:  None

Worst Neurological:  Not experienced

ME/CFS:  All Not A Problem

Most severe activity level: Could be active 60 hours a week

Recent activity level: Could be active 60 hours a week

Mold Avoidance: Made some effort, not sure if helped

Mold Avoidance Skill: Fairly good

Mold Exposure: Not very clear

 

Rachel

Patient Number: 72

Current Condition: I feel totally recovered

Severity Score: 18

Time Since Onset: 26 days

Onset Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Chronic Illness History: None

Mold Avoidance: No

Onset Date: 3/9/20

Lung Severity: Not A Problem

High Fever:  Fever not a problem

Bedridden During Illness:  Not really bedridden but slept a great deal

Relapse: I have experienced improvements without a substantial relapse

Duration:  Moderate – 1 day; Mild – 1 day

Initial Symptom: Severe headache; Nausea; Vomiting; Weakness

Severe Symptoms: Headache

Moderate Symptoms:  Nausea; Abdominal pain; Weakness; Generally feeling terrible

Mild Symptoms: Dehydration; Vomiting; Loss of appetite; Chills; Muscle aches; Runny/stuffy nose; Tiredness

Not An Issue: Sore/painful throat; Difficulties swallowing; Sore voice; Diarrhea; Loss of smell; Loss of taste; Blue lips or face; Elevated temperature; Feverish feelings; Bone pain; Joint pain; Pain when moving body parts; Sneezing; Sleepiness

Suspect Illness (compared to colds/flus):  Different symptoms

Practitioner:  Not discussed (Illness has not been severe enough)

Decade Born: 1980’s

Gender: Female

Living: House, Apartment

Previous Colds/Flus:  One every couple of years

Flu Shot: Definitely received

Blood Pressure:  Normal (not taking medication)

Chronic Conditions:  None

Worst Neurological:  Not Experienced

Mold Avoidance: Not sure

HH Member #1:  1970’s; No chronic conditions; Acute illness without lung involvement:

Very Helpful: Rest

Somewhat Helpful: Ibuprofen

Acquisition: I began to feel ill a few days after attending a family birthday party in Bedford, NS (a suburb of Halifax). Many other attendees had similar symptoms within a week of the party. We suspected it was gastroenteritis.

 

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