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What is the outlook for reactive arthritis?

Reactive arthritis will usually disappear completely within 6 months. During this time you may have good days and bad days. In 10–20% of people the symptoms last longer, but only a small number of people go on to develop an ongoing arthritis that requires longer term treatment.

Some people, especially those who have the HLA-B27 gene, may have bouts of reactive arthritis which come back at intervals of months or years in response to further infections. When this happens it’s described as recurrent. If you're affected in this way you should be especially careful to avoid food poisoning and the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Usually when reactive arthritis disappears the joints make a full recovery and there are no long-term problems as a result.


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