Fifth Disease

Also called: Erythema infectiosum

Fifth disease is a viral infection caused by parvovirus B19. The virus only infects humans; it's not the same parvovirus that dogs and cats can get. Fifth disease mostly affects children. Symptoms can include a low fever, cold symptoms, and a headache. Then you get a red rash on your face. It looks like a "slapped cheek." The rash can spread to the arms, legs, and trunk. Adults who get it might also have joint pain and swelling.

Fifth disease spreads easily, through saliva and mucus. You can get it when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Frequently washing your hands might help prevent getting the virus. Most people become immune to the virus after having it once.

Fifth disease is usually mild and goes away on its own. However, it can be serious if you

  • Are pregnant
  • Are anemic
  • Have cancer or a weak immune system

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Symptoms of Fifth Disease

The following features are indicative of Fifth Disease:
  • fever
  • runny nose
  • headache
  • red rash on the face
  • pain and swelling in the joints
It is possible that Fifth Disease shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Fifth Disease

The following are the most common causes of Fifth Disease:
  • human parvovirus B19 virus

Risk Factors for Fifth Disease

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Fifth Disease:
  • compromised immune system
  • anemia
  • people with sickle-cell disease
  • pregnant women

Prevention of Fifth Disease

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Fifth Disease. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • wash hands thoroughly
  • covering mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing
  • avoid contact with the sick people

Occurrence of Fifth Disease

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Fifth Disease cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Fifth Disease can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Fifth Disease can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Fifth Disease

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Fifth Disease:
  • Blood test: To determine the susceptibility to parvovirus B19 infection

Doctor for Diagnosis of Fifth Disease

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Fifth Disease:
  • Physician

Complications of Fifth Disease if untreated

Yes, Fifth Disease causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Fifth Disease is left untreated:
  • severe anemia
  • fetal risk

Self-care for Fifth Disease

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Fifth Disease:
  • Maintain Hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Cover mouth and nose: Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoid contact with infected person: Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Use precaution with aspirin use: Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers

Time for Treatment of Fifth Disease

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Fifth Disease to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 3 months

Is Fifth Disease Infectious?

Yes, Fifth Disease is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • contact with infected blood
  • respiratory secretions

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Fifth Disease.

Related Topics

Fifth Disease

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