What Is Fifth Disease? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Though fifth disease is more common in children, adults can have it without any noticeable symptoms.

Often mistakenly known as the “fiftieth disease”, “the fifth disease (also called erythema infectus) is a disease caused by a virus called the Mercury virus B19.

This condition often results in a scar, red spots on the face called “slapping cheeks”.

The fifth disease got its unusual name because it was ranked fifth in the historical classification of normal skin in children.

The disease is more common in children than in adults, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 20% of all people with the fifth disease never experience any symptoms. Don’t

You can’t get or give it to your pet, because it’s not the same Parvov virus that dogs and cats have caught.

Fifth Disease Causes

Mercury virus B19 causes the fifth disease, and this disease often occurs in spring and winter.

The fifth disease is easily spread by contact with the virus-carrying saliva or mucus.

For example, if an infected person coughs or sneezes near you, you may be at risk of catching them. Mercury virus B19 can also be spread through blood or blood products.

Washing your hands may be the best way to prevent the virus from catching and spreading.

Signs and Symptoms of Fifth Disease

Symptoms usually appear about four to 14 days after exposure to the Parva virus B19.

Below are usually the first symptoms.

Low grade fever
Runny nose
Sore throat
Nausea or vomiting
Although the above symptoms are often mild and go unnoticed, several days after the initial symptoms, a scar, red spots on the face that usually look like “slapped cheeks”.

Medical providers can often diagnose the fifth disease in children just by looking at this rash.

After the face, the rash spreads to the tension, arms and legs, and can vary in itching and severity.

It goes away after seven to 10 days, but can come and go for several weeks.

Rash is the result of an immune system reaction that occurs after the infection has passed, so once the scar appears, you are less likely to become infected.

Fifth Disease in Adults

People who did not have the fifth disease can catch it as children as adults.

Although adults do not usually cause itching, they may experience pain or swelling in the joints of their hands, wrists, knees and ankles.

It usually goes away after a week or two, but it can last for several months.

A blood test can also determine if you have recently been infected with the mercury virus B19 or if you are sensitive or immune to it.

Once you get sick, you are more likely to avoid recurrence.

Treatment and Medication Options for Fifth Disease

There is no vaccine for the fifth disease, nor is there a cure. In healthy children and adults, the disease usually goes away on its own.

However, drinking plenty of fluids can help relieve symptoms such as fever, itching, and joint pain and swelling.

Symptoms of fever and flu in children: Treat with acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed by your doctor.

Itching: Use antihistamines as directed by your doctor.

Joint pain or swelling in adults: Rest and stop activity, and take steminofen, aspirin, or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) if prescribed by your doctor. (Do not give aspirin to children.)

Complications of Fifth Disease

While the fifth disease is usually a mild disease that goes away on its own, the infection can lead to complications in the following individuals.

Pregnancy: The parasite virus B19 can pass through the uterus.

In about 5% of pregnant women, the baby develops severe anemia, and may have a miscarriage or stillbirth.

However, infection with the fifth disease does not cause birth defects or mental retardation.

Blood transfusions and medications to treat the virus in the newborn. Can be given.

Weakened Immune System: People who have a weakened immune system due to leukemia, cancer, HIV or organ transplantation may need special treatment to help fight the fifth disease.

Chronic anemia: Fifth disease causes people to develop cochlear cell disease or other types of chronic anemia which sometimes lead to severe anemia which requires blood transfusion.

The fifth disease has been linked to an infectious form of arthritis as well as other diseases.


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