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Viral Infections Associated With Severe Joint Pain

Updated November 21, 2016

The occurrence of sudden joint pain can be the result of a recent virus that you’ve had. Some strains of viruses are so virulent that they can destroy the joint that they have infected. Viruses and bacteria can get inside the joint.

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When experiencing joint pain along with muscle aches, a runny nose, swelling in your joints, a rash and sore throat, you may have contracted Lyme disease, which can occur when you are bitten by a tick. Lyme disease is considered an infectious arthritis. It results in joint pain as well as fever and fatigue.

Infectious Arthritis

When an infectious agent, such as a virus or bacteria, gets into the joint space, this can result in infectious arthritis, explains Arthritis-treatment-and-relief.com. This type of arthritis can spread throughout your body.


Another virus that can result in joint pain is human parvovirus B19, which results in fifth disease. This condition is usually associated with children but adults can also get fifth disease. When afflicted, you will suffer from joint pain on both sides of your body and your joints may swell. There is a rash that accompanies this disease, which only lasts for a week or two but, conceivably, can last for several months, according to Cdc.gov.


Ross River Virus is the most common viral cause of arthritis. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. After being bitten, you will develop a rash on your limbs and the trunk of your body within a week or two. Your joints will hurt and swell. A virus called Barmah Forest is very similar to Ross River Virus and results in joint pain; however, it is a milder virus than Ross River. Arthritis and joint pain can occur after rubella immunisation. This type of arthritis is considered a benign form of viral arthritis.


Viruses can be transmitted through blood products and blood. A rash, flu-like illness and joint symptoms may occur soon after you have been exposed to blood that contains Hepatitis B and C or HIV.


Your doctor may suspect that your arthritis and joint pain is virally caused if you have a sore throat, a runny nose, muscle aches and pains and a rash in addition to joint pain and swelling. Your physician may inquire if you have travelled in an area where there are a lot of mosquitoes. If so, you may have been exposed to Ross River Virus.


Consult with your physician about the appropriate medications to take for joint pain when it is the result of a virus. Take an anti-inflammatory medicine for your joint pain and swelling if you are suffering from viral arthritis and the accompanying joint pain.

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About the Author

Cindi Pearce

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.

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