Viral arthritis is characterized by swelling and inflammation of the joints as a result of a viral infection. A viral infection can be due to hepatitis A, B, C, the rubella virus or the parvovirus. Hepatitis A virus is transmitted via the fecal-oral route while hepatitis B virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse.
A condition as a result of hepatitis B virus is normally migratory and it commonly affects hand and knee joints. Significant stiffness especially in the morning as well as swelling are some of the symptoms associated with a condition caused by hepatitis B virus. Polyarthritis may also occur in patients with chronic active hepatitis or chronic HBV viremia. Hepatitis C virus can also cause viral arthritis although this happens in very rare occasions. Hepatitis C virus can also be transmitted through sex.
Parvovirus B19 is responsible for about 12 percent of the cases. It is a major cause of this disease in adults and joint symptoms may be present in about 60 percent of the cases. In children, it may be up to 70 percent asymptomatic. Rubella virus can also cause this disease. The condition may occur within a few weeks of vaccination by attenuated rubella virus, which is similar to that of natural infection. Symptoms include symmetric stiffness especially in the mornings.
Diagnosis of this disease involves a physical examination which may show joint inflammation. A blood test or serology for viruses may also be carried out. Treatment of viral arthritis may involve the use of pain medications and if the joint inflammation is severe, aspiration of fluid from the affected joint will help relieve the pain.
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Source by Mercy Maranga