Inflammation of the joints that results from a viral infection.
Arthritis may be a symptom of many viral illnesses. The duration is usually short, and it usually disappears on its own without any lasting effects. It may be associated with human parvovirus or fifth disease, and hepatitis B or C. It may also occur after immunization with rubella vaccine. There is no known way to prevent viral arthritis.
Viral arthritis is diagnosed when a physical examination shows joint inflammation. A serology for viral agents may be performed.
Treatment is symptomatic with analgesics. If joint inflammation is severe, aspiration of fluid from the affected joint may relieve pain. In general, the arthritis is mild.
The outcome is usually good. Most arthritis disappears within several days to weeks with resolution of the viral illness. There are usually no complications.