An inflammation of joints triggered by a viral infection is referred as viral arthritis. Viral arthritis is normally of mild form and remains for a short while, disappears by itself, without showing any long lasting effects. Immune system respond to viral infection by causing joint inflammation. Even after the virus is eliminated, joint still remains swollen, feel painful and may become permanently damaged in a few cases.
Individuals suffering from viral arthritis are comparatively very low in number, owing to late representation of viral arthritis. The symptoms may be same as that of other forms of arthritis including joint inflammation, swelling of 1 or more joints and joint pain. There is no known way to prevent occurrence of viral arthritis.
Different Types Of Viral Arthritis
Hepatitis B Virus Arthritis
Polyarthritis characterized by arthritis of small joints of elbows, wrists, hands, ankles and knees, is a feature that occurs during the prodromal or early incubation phase of acute HBV infection.
It is a self limiting arthritis that begins several weeks before the start of jaundice and remains for a number of weeks post jaundice recovery. For chronic HBV patients, arthritis pain may keep coming intermittently.
Parvovirus B-19 Arthritis
The common virus of parvovirus B19 affects around 60% of adults, at least once in their lives. Parvovirus B19 majorly causes fifth disease, characterized by rash over body and face. Around 15 percent of kids suffering from fifth disease show a certain form of joint pain that rapidly improves on its own.
In adults who suffer from fifth disease, sore joints are reported within 3 weeks of infection. The joints involved in arthritis are usually of hand, foot, wrist, knee and ankle. Usually, the joint pain gets over in around 2 week’s time. But in certain cases, it may come intermittently and stay for as long as 10 years.
Dengue Virus Arthritis
Dengue infection usually involve joints, bone, tendons and muscles, and the associated viral arthritis develop as part of the disease with symptoms of headache, fever and a macular rash, sparing soles and palms.
It occurs after an incubation period of 4 to 7 days and symptoms may show up again, after a convalescence period. Viruses may result in disability from chronic arthritis.
HIV causes aids and is linked to various forms of viral arthritis. In the initial phase of infection itself, people show joint pain and flu like symptoms. Around 10 percent of HIV patients show severe joint pain that mainly occurs at elbows, knees and shoulders.
The joint pain comes and goes intermittently and HIV patients tend to develop reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and Reiter’s syndrome. It is not sure, whether such arthritis is formed due to HIV infection or occurs separately as another simultaneous disorder.
Rubella virus causes a mild, but severe viral disease that affects joint in many adults, majorly women. The symptoms of viral arthritis appear in a week after the appearance of rash, the predominant symptom of rubella disease. Joints may not get inflamed, but appear painful and stiff. The pain goes away in a 2 weeks’ time or may last for many years in a few cases.
Rubella vaccine may cause joint discomfort in children post immunization. It may occur during vaccination, so one need to be careful if observe pains and aches in children and must inform the pediatrician. Not all children infected with rubella during vaccination may develop viral arthritis, only a few may develop it and no risk factors appear in the rest.