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Dr. Thomas, MD
Dr. Thomas, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 63757
Experience:  Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, also Integrative, CAM, etc
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Sent symptoms after 4 days in bed. Now 12 days. Been to

Customer Question

Sent symptoms after 4 days in bed. Now 12 days. Been to doctor twice and put on anti-biotics which have not lowered temperature so I take it it's viral. No energy, no appetite, green phlegm when I cough. I'm takong a codeine based cough medicine and solpadeine. Really cold when everyone is warm and today lost feeling in the tips of my fingers for a long time. Should I be doing anything else?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

This is Dr Basu, experienced Internal Medicine Specialist.

I am here to address your concerns and provide great service.

Likely bad viral infection.

Antibiotics will not work.

However chest xrays are still recommended to rule out any resistant pneumonia.

The finger numbness can be due to the inflammation of the nerves supplying the fingers.

Viral infection can trigger strong immune response which can attack the nerves as well.

Will recommend oral steroid course with prednisone after getting chest xrays.

Prednisone will help to suppress the cough and inflammation reactions expediting the recovery in the absence of any bacterial infection.

Prednisone should be started 40 mg daily for a week then taper off over next 2 weeks.

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Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 1 year ago.

Hi

Numbness in the fingers is not typical of an infection, or a typical viral infection, therefore, further evaluation is needed immediately.

Viral infections are not typical without abatement for 12 days running, so an unusual problem, bacterial infection, etc....need to be fully ruled out.

I do believe you need further work up immediately, and that this should be an ER visit.

Not only pneumonia, but ascending neuropathy, myelitis of the cervical spine, and other more serious problems need to be ruled out at this point.

I would not wait.

Prednisone is not indicated at all without a diagnosis.

This might simply cover up symptoms. For example, cervical spine disease would require an MRI to evaluate, or it could progress without treatment.

See this fact sheet

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/transversemyelitis/detail_transversemyelitis.htm

See this long list of hand/finger numbness causes from the mayo clinic

http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/numbness-in-hands/basics/causes/sym-20050842

I am a double board certified US clinical doctor.

Very familiar with these presentations.

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