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Hey y'all, I've just joined the forum after finding great comfort and info through it these past 6 months. I began having GI issues, reflux, arthralgia, and other systemic issues following a serious illness I developed while living in a rainforest in the Caribbean last year. My initial illness consisted of sudden fever (104+), rigors, joint, back, head and abdominal pain. This fever lasted 4 days then resolved only to return one month later - and again one month later - and again one month later until I finally flew back to the states to seek health care, expecting a quick diagnosis and cure. That was September 2017. Now, 9 months since my return and over one year since that first fever, I still have no idea what is wrong with me. I am a 27 y old female and was a farmer prior to this and am still unable to return to work due to the arthralgia, exhaustion and morning stiffness. Following the last fever in August, the joint pain never went away. I began to develop severe reflux and GI issues. I had already had Raynauds for 10 years but began experiencing new changes in my hands. The doctors could not find any current infection but did find that I had a positive ANA, depressed C3 and C4, Eosinophilia and a positive Anti-Fibrillarin Antibody. All of these remain this way today. I currently have a diagnosis of Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease with leanings towards Scleroderma. I have become fixated on finding the cause of my initial illness, though understanding it may not help treat my current situation. My question for y'all is if anybody else began experiencing symptoms following an infection/trauma/illness? The last day of the initial fever I hiked to a place with a cell connection and learned my former boyfriend and best friend had died unexpectedly a couple days before. It was several weeks later that the fever returned and the cycle began. I wonder if the combination of the infection and the trauma could have "fried" my immune system. Alternatively, did anybody's Scleroderma begin as recurrent high fevers? I want to keep an open mind and a broad differential. Thank you so much for reading this and am looking forward to any experiences/insights y'all are willing to share. With Hope, T
Increased immunoreactivity against human cytomegalovirus UL83 in systemic sclerosis. Immunoreactivity to UL83 HCMV is frequent and strong in patients with SSc, implying a possible pathogenic role for this disease. PubMed, Clin Exp Rheumatol, 02/27/2017. (Also see Causes of Scleroderma: Infection) This item was posted in the ISN Newsroom. Please check the newsroom daily for updates on scleroderma and other related articles.