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Infectious Diseases

Unknown Virus Infection

04/22/2003

Question:

Jan.28 I had a rash with painful burning muscles, about 3-4 weeks later my 15 year old child also started to experience the same symptoms, and then 3-4 weeks after that my 12 year old also became ill. Because of the rash Dr. thought that I was allergic to the laundry detergent and put me on Prednisone. When the children also became ill, Dr.s now believe that we have some sort of viral infection. We have all been sick a long time with a great deal of pain. They have prescribed pain medicine however it seems less effective now. The children have missed weeks of school. I have missed weeks of work. There is no fever, just lots of leg, arm and chest muscle pain. the children`s rash is less than mine. The older child had sores in her mouth. We have had many blood tests. I am now completely weaned off the Prednisone for about 1 week and again in very much pain, the rash was very hived, and burning for several hours last night and the muscle pain in my calves is increasing. I am very afraid that I will be unable to walk again, as in the beginning of this illness. Please if you can recommend any help, or need any further details I would be happy to have all medical records released and given to you. I have seen a couple of doctors and so have the children.

Thank you for any help....

Answer:

It sounds like you all had a common exposure, either to an environmental agent or an infectious agent. I am unsure what specific tests were done, but it would be important to rule out active infection. I suggest going back to your doctors and asking if they will send you to an Infectious Diseases or Rheumatology specialist. 

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Response by:

Amy Beth Kressel, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati