Summary of Symptoms
This page provides a summary of the symptoms produced by this virus when first caught as an acute infection, and the chronic physical and mental symptoms and illnesses that can later appear.
The viral characteristics and precipitated symptoms detailed on this page result from my observations on myself, and on more than 30 people in my social group who were unfortunately infected with this same virus. This set of 30+ people observed includes all ages, both sexes, and various different ethnicities and nationalities.
Mode of Transmission
The mode of transmission is the means by which an infectious microbe first enters the body (for example by saliva, blood or insect bite). It is clear that the virus described on this website is transmitted person-to-person via saliva and/or nasal secretions, and that this virus can transmit during close social contact. Furthermore, once one member of a household is infected with this virus, it has been noted that pretty much all of the other members will catch the virus from them within a year or so. The fact that transmission is quite slow (compared to say a cold or influenzavirus) suggests that not that many viral particles are shed by an infected individual, and/or that these shed viral particles do not survive long in the environment. It has been observed that transmission of this virus often occurs through intimate kissing, and also when sharing food or drinks on the same table (where spittle ejected from an infected person’s mouth may fall on another person’s food).
It is also of interest that even during the acute infection (typically a gastrointestinal illness or sore throat), this virus is not very contagious. I did not observe any person-to-person transmission of this virus from an individual during their acute infection. They would only transmit the virus to others months later. This makes this virus quite different to a cold or influenzavirus, which is at its most contagious during the acute phase. Person-to-person transmission of this virus generally occurred not during the acute infection, but after the virus had formed a chronic long-term infection in the person.
The incubation period is the time between catching an infectious pathogen and the arrival of its first symptoms. (Note that the incubation period is slightly different to the latency period, the latter being defined as the time between catching a pathogen and the point when the infected person becomes infectious to others – which is the point the contagious period begins).
The incubation period of this virus is very fast: it can be as fast as 8 hours, but is typically around 12 hours, and generally less than 24 hours. This has been reliably observed: for several infected people, I knew the exact time of exposure to the virus, and the precise time the first symptoms then appeared. I have observed many cases where I know for sure that exposure to this virus happened sometime during a short evening social event (such as an evening dinner), and the subsequent onset of symptoms (vomiting, or sore throat) arrived either in middle of the night, or early next day. All the people that I observed catching this virus later manifested many of the typical long-term sequelae it causes, in the months and years that followed. Note that irrespective of whether this infection starts with a sore throat, or with a gastrointestinal upset and vomiting (gastroenteritis), in both cases the incubation period is the same: around 12 hours. This unusually rapid incubation period is a good clue to the identity of this virus.
Indeed such a rapid incubation period is found in only a few viruses: influenza B viruses have an incubation period of around 24 hours; enterovirus 70 can have an incubation period as fast as 12 hours; rhinoviruses can have an incubation period as fast as 12 hours; norovirus can have an incubation period as fast as 10 hours. So time-wise these viruses could be candidates for the virus I caught; but these viruses are not generally known to form persistent long-term infections, as my virus clearly does.
The prodrome is the nature of the initial symptoms at the beginning of an infection. It has been observed that infection with my virus usually starts in one of four ways:-
(1) A sore throat located at the back of the soft palete, on the palatoglossal arch (more towards where this arch meets the tongue on both sides, rather than at the uvula apex of this arch). The infection also develops at the very back of the throat (pharynx), and to a lesser degree in the upper esophagus. The red inflammation (erythema) of this throat infection is clearly discernible on the palatoglossal arch and the pharynx. Inspection of the isthmus faucium area of the pharynx shows both red inflamed skin, and some papules (papules are small raised pimples which are solid rather than fluid-filled and do not produce pus). These papules are slightly elongated rather than round, around 2mm by 1mm in size, and are a slightly whiter shade of red/pink than the surrounding skin.
This sore throat looks very similar to a herpangina sore throat, except that in my case, no vesicles (blisters) or ulcers appeared (vesicles and ulcers usually accompany herpangina), only papules. Note that the image on the right is not of my sore throat, but is an image found on the Internet that looks very similar to my throat. Note: the name lymphonodular pharyngitis is given to a herpangina-type sore throat where there are only papules; so lymphonodular pharyngitis may be a better description of the sore throat caused by my virus.
During this sore throat prodrome, the throat area is sore, but with no pain, and very little fever. This throat infection can run for many months before it begins to subside. However in many people it never fully disappears, and usually remains as a mild chronic sore throat and/or with constant nasal mucus production (although the sore throat becomes a more subdued after a few years).
(2) Alternatively, the infection can first begin as a gastric upset, with vomiting and diarrhea (in other words, it begins as a viral gastroenteritis or “stomach flu”). In the case of this stomach upset type of prodrome, there is a fever, which lasts for one or two days (unfortunately the fever temperature has not been measured; but it does not seem unduly high). Significant fatigue is experienced during the fever period. There are no signs of skin rash (at least in the people I observed). The only skin change apparent at this prodrome stage is a slight red flushing, presumed due just to the patient’s temperature.
(3) Sometimes the infection starts with a cluster of lesions and scabs surrounding the facial lips, these lesions looking like large herpes simplex cold sores. In this case, there is also a significant swelling of the lymph nodes in the lower jaw and neck, these swollen lymph nodes easing off after a week or two, as the crusted cold sore-like lesions clear up. These lesions may just be a flare up of pre-existing herpes simplex, as a result of some immunosuppressive effect of this virus; or possibly, they may be the facial lesions of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), which is caused by enteroviruses.
(4) Occasionally, this infection can start with just with a viral headache (which can be very intense and can last for two or three days), but no other symptoms (at least initially) other than feeling very irritable, and generally feeling under the weather.
No other prodrome sequences have been noted. NOTE: when the infection begins as a sore throat, a (milder) gastric upset can appear months later. Similarly, when the infection begins as a gastric upset, sore throat can appear weeks later.
Period of Communicability (Contagious Period)
The period of communicability is the time period during which an infected person is infectious to others. For example, in the case of the common cold virus (rhinovirus), this period is the first few days of infection, after which, there is recovery from the fever, and the cold virus can no longer be transmitted to others. However, in the case of this chronic sore throat virus, the period of communicability lasts at least a year or so, and maybe indefinitely. I observed people with this virus are able to transmit this virus to others for a long period of time. I know for sure that I was able to infect someone (via kissing) 15 months after first catching this virus. It is possible that those like me who have the chronic sore throat symptom, or those who have the chronically congested nose with nasal mucus symptom, are shedding the highest number of viral particles.
The persistent nasal discharge is very characteristic: the constant stuffy nose contains thick, viscous, congested mucus build up. Blowing your nose with a tissue to clear this mucus build-up is necessary every hour or so, and requires a very strong, long blow of the nose to clear out the viscous thick mucus. Once begun, this thick nasal mucus persists indefinitely; it does it start to abate a little after a year or two, but never fully disappears. Exactly the same is true for the sore throat, which persists permanently, but often becoming more subdued in time.
NOTE: some people can have the chronic runny nose without the chronic sore throat, and vice versa. Others have both, and other people have neither. Sometimes in infected person will experience a recurrent sore throat, where the throat will clear up for a day or two, but then quickly return. These constant nasopharyngeal symptoms are characteristic, and their persistence may underpin the long period of communicability of this virus, which lasts at least a year or two, perhaps indefinitely. From my observation, some approximate statistics: about ⅔ of people with this virus display a chronic stuffy / runny nose, and about ⅓ get the chronic sore throat.
The contagiousness is how easily an infectious pathogen passes to other people (also called transmission rate). Even though the virus described on this website may have an indefinitely long period of communicability, and even though its incubation period is extremely rapid, by contrast, this virus is not very contagious. Its person-to-person transmission rate is relatively low. This can be easily deduced from the observation that once one person in a household has caught this virus, it can take over a year before all members of the household have caught it. I have observed this on multiple occasions, in several households.
However, though this virus is only mildly contagious, its contagious period lasts for a long time, perhaps indefinitely, so that there are ample opportunities for it to infect everyone around. This is why this virus does spread to a lot of people.
One way this virus can rapidly pass to a person outside the household is when meeting an acquaintance for say lunch or dinner, and having lots of animated conversation while eating on the same table. I have noticed that this tends to pass on the virus. This is almost certainly from oral ejections of tiny globules of spittle that naturally happens during laughing and loud talking. This spittle may land on the table on other person’s food or drink, and then get eaten. Intimate or deep kissing is another way this virus is quite easily transmitted, if the first infected person has the chronic nasopharyngeal infection.
Mental State Changes
About 2 months after the initial prodrome, powerful mental state changes may begin: anxiety, depression, fatigue, apathy, loss of motivation, anhedonia, social withdrawal, memory problems.
In some people, uncharacteristic outbursts of aggression appear. The severity of the mental state changes varies considerably from person to person: some people are badly affected, others just minimally affected. What is clear is that the mental symptoms, while they do improve a little, linger permanently. Even in those people not particularly badly affected by this virus, episodes of depression, sometimes for days, sometimes protracted over months, seem to be common, even in those sturdy people that had never experienced depression before.
On one occasion, I observed mental state changes appearing straight away on catching this virus, during the first few days of the infection. In this case, though, the mental state changes significantly abated a few days later.
Pins and Needles
About 4 months after the initial prodrome, a “pins and needles” sensation (paresthesias) appears in some people. This tends to be more in the legs, but will often manifest throughout the whole body. Some people with this virus say these pins and needles sensations are located just under the skin; other people say that they are in their muscles. They are transient paresthesias: they come and go.
Receding Gums: Periodontal Disease
Also at 4 months, receding gums and a rapid sudden onset of periodontal disease arises in some people. Dental plaque formation and deposition significantly increases. There may even be new dental caries (tooth decay) suddenly appearing, even for people with excellent oral hygiene habits.
About 12 to 18 months after the initial prodrome, the first signs of fine skin wrinkling are noticed. These closely spaced, fine wrinkles have a texture reminiscent of crêpe paper. These skin wrinkles may start to appear on the top of the hands, but the whole body is soon involved. The wrinkled skin resulting from this viral infection looks different to the look of normal aged skin. For one thing, these virally-precipitated wrinkles are much finer than aging wrinkles, having this unusual crêpe paper-like appearance. Also, normal skin aging happens quite slowly: in normal aging, significant changes in skin appearance are only noticeable as the decades go by, not as a year goes by. By contrast, the skin wrinkling process that arises from this virus manifests more rapidly, with significant skin changes noticeable within a year or two.
The degree of wrinkling this virus causes varies from person to person. Older people (55+) have a greater, and a more rapid increase in body wrinkles, and exhibit slightly deeper wrinkle furrows. Younger people (30 to 55 years) have slightly more shallow furrows. In both cases, however, the wrinkles have this characteristic very fine texture, with crêpe paper-like appearance. People under about 30 or so will tend not to show any of these wrinkles, presumably because their younger skin better counters the skin-damaging effect of this virus.
Weak Legs and Pelvic Girdle Laxity
Also at 12 to 18 months, the first signs of mild muscle weakness and looseness appeared in me (and there may have been one other infected person with this symptom). The muscle weakness/looseness is located in the pelvic girdle (the lower proximal muscles).
Proximal muscle weakness is characteristic of polymyositis and dermatomyositis, two similar diseases which generally affect the muscles in the thighs and hips to begin with, but then progress to all the proximal muscles. However, my mild lower proximal muscle weakness has not progressed over the years, so if this is polymyositis or dermatomyositis, it is mild and non-progressing.
Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are chronic inflammatory myopathy diseases, and have been linked to coxsackievirus B1 Tucson strain in mouse models 1 2 (and in humans to parvovirus B19, HIV and HTLV-I). Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are thought to be autoimmune conditions in which T-cells attack the muscle tissue. 1 2
Heliotrope Rash on Chest, and Newly Appearing Seborrheic Warts
After 2 or 3 years with this virus, further skin symptoms appear. In myself and several otherd with this virus, the skin on the upper chest area, just under the neck (corresponding to the area exposed when wearing a V-neck jumper) developed a pink/red heliotrope rash, with the skin texture in this area getting thicker and feeling a little oily or waxy.
This chest rash looks like the so-called V-sign of dermatomyositis. Thus along with my pelvic girdle muscle weakness, my V-sign heliotrope rash perhaps support the idea that the virus described on this website is causing mild dermatomyositis. The picture shows the type of V-shaped chest rash I had (this is not an actual picture of my rash, but is an image found on the Internet that looks very similar to my rash). After around 5 years or so, my chest rash seemed to disappear on its own.
In addition, seborrheic keratosis (seborrheic warts) may appear on the skin at the 2 to 3 year stage of the viral infection: these are benign brown spots looking similar to moles. See this picture I took of one the seborrheic keratosis spots that appeared on my skin. My seborrheic keratosis was diagnosed by a dermatologist.