or epidemic pleurodynia
or epidemic myalgia
is a disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...
caused by the Coxsackie B virus or other viruses.
It is named after the Danish
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of the rest of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts like glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is...
where early cases occurred.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms may include fever and headache, but the distinguishing characteristic of this disease is attacks of severe pain in the lower chest, often on one side. The slightest movement of the rib cage causes a sharp increase of pain, which makes it very difficult to breathe, and an attack is therefore quite a frightening experience, although it generally passes off before any actual harm occurs. The attacks are unpredictable and strike "out of the blue" with a feeling like an iron grip around the rib cage. The colloquial names for the disease, such as 'The Devil's grip' (see also "other names" below) reflect this symptom.
Inoculation of throat washings taken from people with pleurodynia into the brains of newborn mice revealed that enterovirus
Enteroviruses are a genus of ssRNA viruses associated with several human and mammalian diseases. Serologic studies have distinguished 66 human enterovirus serotypes on the basis of antibody neutralization tests. Additional antigenic variants have been defined within several of the serotypes on the...
es in the Coxsackie B virus group were likely to be the cause of pleurodynia, and those findings were supported by subsequent studies of IgM
Immunoglobulin M, or IgM for short, is a basic antibody that is produced by B cells. It is the primary antibody against A and B antigens on red blood cells. IgM is by far the physically largest antibody in the human circulatory system...
antibody responses measured in serum from people with pleurodynia. Other viruses in the enterovirus family, including echovirus
An ECHO virus, is a type of RNA virus that belongs to the genus Enterovirus of the Picornaviridae family...
and Coxsackie A virus
Coxsackie A virus is a cytolytic coxsackie virus of the Picornaviridae family, an enterovirus .-Diseases:...
, are infrequently associated with pleurodynia.
Coxsackie B virus is spread by contact and epidemics usually occur during warm weather in temperate regions and at any time in the tropics. As is typical with this virus family, it is shed in large amounts in the feces of infected persons. The disease can be spread by sharing drink containers, and has been contracted by laboratory personnel working with the virus.
Treatment and prognosis
The illness lasts about a week and is rarely fatal. Treatment includes the administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents or the application of heat to the affected muscles. Relapses during the weeks following the initial episode are a characteristic feature of this disease.
In 1872, Daae-Finsen reported an epidemic of "acute muscular rheumatism" occurring in a community called Bamble, giving rise to the name "Bamble disease" in Norway. Subsequent reports, published only in Norwegian, referred to the disease by this name. In 1933, Ejnar Sylvest gave a doctoral thesis describing a Danish outbreak of this disease on Bornholm Island entitled, "Bornholm disease-myalgia epidemica", and this name has persisted.
It is also known as Bamble disease
, the devil's grip
, devil's grippe
, epidemic myalgia
, epidemic pleurodynia
, epidemic transient diaphragmatic spasm
or The Grasp of the Phantom