Coronavirus symptoms update: Do your muscles feel like this? The sign of an infection

The deadly virus is known to attack the body in a number of ways affecting either the eyes, skin, nose or even ears. Myalgia and arthralgia relate to symptoms which happen inside the body and with a person’s muscles. What is myalgia and arthralgia?


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While bodily aches and pain can be the result of pretty much anything, it turns out COVID-19-related muscle pain is a bit different.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide information on its list of symptoms, however, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), myalgia was a little less common symptom than other well-known symptoms.

In a February WHO report, laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 patients found that 14.8 percent of patients reported myalgia or arthralgia.

This puts myalgia and arthralgia a slightly more common symptom than sore throat (13.9 percent), headache (13.6 percent), and chills (11.4 percent).

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What is myalgia?

John Hopkins Medicine explained: “Myalgia describes muscle aches and pain, which can involve ligaments, tendons and fascia, the soft tissues that connect muscles, bones and organs.

“Injuries, trauma, overuse, tension, certain drugs and illness can all bring about myalgia.

“The symptoms can include muscle cramps and joint pain.

“Diagnosis requires careful clinical evaluations of muscle cramps and joint pain.”


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What is arthralgia?

Many medical organisations use the term arthralgia to mean any type of joint pain.

The Mayo Clinic, for example, states that “joint pain refers to arthritis or arthralgia, which is inflammation and pain from within the joint itself.”

However, other organisations make a distinction between the two conditions.

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of American defines arthralgia as “aching or pain in the joints without swelling.”


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Cancer Update Research and Education said: “The term arthralgia means joint pain, whereas arthritis is a disease that causes joint inflammation, which can in turn cause joint pain and stiffness.

“Arthralgia can be accompanied by symptoms such as joint stiffness, aches, muscle pain and inflammation, such as swelling, tenderness and redness around the joint.

“This pain can be mild or severe and it can last for a few minutes, come and go, or be constant.

“Joint pain or stiffness is often worse upon waking or after long periods of inactivity and can improve with movement.

“Treatment-related arthralgia can cause new pain to improve with movement.”

Lucy Reynolds at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine added: “Coronavirus is nasty in particular, as it attempts to attack the lung tissue, rather than the tissues inside the top of your nose and sinuses where you normally get a cold.

“As it attacks the tissue, your body triggers an inflammatory response.

“However, this can sometimes go overboard, and the body starts attacking itself, causing some of the more severe COVID-19 cases.

“One in six people who get COVID-19 will become seriously ill and have difficulty breathing.”

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