What virus causes symptoms similar to sickle cell anemia?

A friend of the family who attends Iowa State Univ. was hospitalized for a couple of days this week; apparently she had caught a virus that affected her blood. It essentially caused symptoms similar to those of sickle cell anemia. Among other things her platelets were low and at one point her blood pooled in her legs. She’s getting better, but I’ve never heard of anything like this. Has anybody out there?

A low platelet count isn’t a symptom of sickle cell anemia. Blood pooling in the lower extremities is a symptom of several diseases, more often with Spherocytosis, but also seen in Sickle cell .
Sickle cell crisis includes severe pain, often in the abdominal area, fever, joint and or muscle pain, an increase in white blood cells. Because the abnormal cells can pool anywhere, infarctions in the lungs, heart or brain cause irreversible damage. Jaundice is common.
As for your friend’s illness, the symptoms you’ve given could be any of a number of virial illnesses, but most have a longer duration.
Do you have other information?

No, and I’m reporting it second hand from my mother (who’s also a nurse and she didn’t know what it was either) so I’m probably getting the description somewhat wrong.

I do know she talked about the blood pooling, and I think she said the girl’s platelet count had been low at least part of the time. I guess I just assumed both were symptoms of Sickle cell. My uneducated error.

Oh, she may have had this before Thanksgiving because she wasn’t feeling well then, but only had to go to the hospital this week.