Posted by: Roxie | 2004/12/04

Can a Throat Swab help to diagnose the cause of a Rash?

I have had chronic myelitis for more than 2 years already. The neurologist was never able to tell me what triggered it, except to say that it was probably caused by some sort of virus, maybe a throat infection, maybe a chest infection ... all very vague. The only trouble is that I really don't recall having had any sort of infection prior to developing this auto-immune condition. As far as I am aware, the illness came out of the blue.

The other thing that I have noticed is that I often wake up in the mornings with a rash on my trunk, which disappears soon after getting out of bed. The severity of the rash correlates with the severity of the myelitis symptoms, some days the symptoms are bad, other days they are barely noticeable. I have had this rash ever since I first developed myelitis (in August 2002).

I am wondering whether the rash (a virus?) is the cause of the chronic myelitis. Do you think it would serve any purpose for me to have a throat swab to determine the cause of the rash (virus)?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Roxie, myelitis is inflammation of the spinal cord, but from this side of the screen it sounds like one of the dermatomyositises. Please mail me at so that I can send you something on it. Read it and see if this isn’t what you have. Good luck.

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