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Infectious Diseases

Rash/Upper Respitory



I`m a 40-yr-old female. About 4 yrs ago, I was biten by what I thought were mosquitoes during an all-day gardening project. We counted 75 bites on my legs alone! About 2 weeks later, I developed a rash. A nurse- friend said it looked like poison sumac and told me of some across-the-counter medicine to use...in a couple weeks the rash went away. But about 2 weeks later, I developed an upper respitory infection (my head swelled out, slurred speech, no sense of balance and very little air passing to my lungs). A wonderful doctor saved my life with quick acting antibiotics. However, each year since I have had at least 1 - 2 occurances of the same illness. First I get a rash, then it disappears and I`m fine...then BAM!...an upper respitory infection which makes me pray to die. (This year`s infection included ear infections, coughing so frequent/hard that I pulled stomach muscles and threw my lower back out, swollen glands throughout the sinus area, eye-sensitivity to light, inability to carry-out even small tasks, dizzyness and difficulty walking/standing.) I have gotten this ailment in the winter and summer months, and I have been totally unable to connect it to anything. (My doctor is also at a loss on it.) I know Lyme Disease comes from ticks, I live in Northern Kentucky and the CDC only reported 19 cases for all of Kentucky in 1999..so it is unlikely that my illness is tick-born, right? Is there any illness that I could have gotten from the apparent mosquito bites? Could you direct me to any resource which might be helpful? I know you can`t diagnose me on the internet, but any direction you could give which might help would certainly be followed through on and appreciated. I don`t know if I can withstand another bout of whatever this is.... Thank you for your help.


It sounds like you`re asking for a specific diagnosis, which is more than I can provide online. Only a detailed history and physical exam by a healthcare professional can provide enough information to make a specific diagnosis. Please discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider.

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Response by:

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