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Parvovirus B-19 and Anemia
Feb 14, 2000

I'm a 62 y/o male with lingering pre-anemia condition. Three years of annual CBC's showed an RBC around 4.33, HGB varying from 12.3 to 13.2, and hematocrit around 39.2.

On my last physical my principal physician sent me to a hematologist for further diagnosis. A bone marrow biopsy showed a reduced level of RBC precursors but was otherwise normal. No presence of parvovirus B-19 was uncovered.

In a more specific blood test, PV B-19 was detected with elevated levels of IgG and IgM. HIV was negative. Erthyopoieten level was normal. A chest CAT scan was negative.

I did complain of fatigue in the afternoons and a tendancy to nod off. No treatment option was offered. The next step is to do another CBC in two months and see if there are changes in the IgG and IgM levels and PV B-19 and any recovery in HGB and RBC.

From what I have read about PV B-19 that this affects most children and for a short duration. What advice can you offer.

Response from Mr. Molaghan


Human parvovirus B19 is presumed to be transmitted via respiratory secretions and via blood transfusion. Chronic parvovirus infection has been reported in people with compromised immune systems and in AIDS patients. The symptoms may include severe anemia. Treatment with Immune serum globulin usually helps. The introduction of pooled antibodies usually results in curing the infection and correcting the anemia. Your hemoglobin and hematocrit levels are maintaining well, and at this point the anemia is mild. Nodding off in the mid afternoon can also be related to glucose levels decreasing a few hours after lunch. Try eating a mid afternoon snack (complex carbohydrates). Good luck.

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