Atypical porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) caused by highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (HP-PRRSV) is characterized by high fever and high mortality. However, the mechanism underlying the fever induction is still unknown. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), synthesized by cyclooxygenase type 1/2 (COX-1/2) enzymes, is essential for inducing fever. In this study, we found that PGE2, together with COX-1, was significantly elevated by HP-PRRSV. We subsequently demonstrated that extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and phosphorylated ERK (p-ERK) were the key nodes to trigger COX-1 expression after HP-PRRSV infection. Furthermore, we proved the direct binding of p-C/EBP-β to the COX-1 promoter by luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. In addition, silencing of C/EBP-β remarkably impaired the enhancement of COX-1 production induced by HP-PRRSV infection. Taken together, our results indicate that HP-PPRSV elicits the expression of COX-1 through the ERK1/2-p-C/EBP-β signaling pathway, resulting in the increase of PGE2, which might be the cause of high fever in infected pigs. Our findings might provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of HP-PRRSV infection.