Childr Health Information

Fifth Disease

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Topic: Diseases & Conditions

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about fifth disease. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to explain any information that you do not understand.

Fifth disease is a mild rash illness that occurs most often in children. It is caused by infection with human parvovirus. The child typically has a “slapped-cheek” rash on the face and a lacy red rash on the trunk and limbs. Occasionally, the rash may itch. An ill child may have a low-grade fever, fatigue or a “cold” a few days before the rash breaks out. The child is usually not very ill, and the rash gets better in seven to 10 days.

Parvovirus is contagious and has been found in the respiratory secretions (saliva or sputum) of infected persons before the onset of rash, when they appear to “just have a cold.” The virus is probably spread from person to person by direct contact with those secretions, such as sharing drinking cups or utensils. In a household, about half of the susceptible persons exposed to the disease will get it. The child usually becomes ill four to 14 days after being infected with the virus. By the time the rash develops, the child is no longer contagious and may return to school or child care center.

• Bright red or rosy rash on both cheeks for one to three days (“slapped” cheek look)
• Rash on cheeks is followed by pink “lace-like” rash on the arms and legs.
• “Lacey” rash, mainly on upper arms and legs, that usually gets better in seven to 10 days
• No fever or low-grade fever (less than 101°F or 38.4°C)

Treatment of symptoms such as fever, pain or itching is usually all that is needed
for fifth disease. Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®) may be used
to control fever in children. Aspirin should not be used in children because of the
risk of Reye syndrome.

• If your child develops a fever over 101° F (38.4C)
• If you feel that your child is getting worse
• If you have other concerns or questions
• If your child has sickle-cell disease, chronic anemia, or problems with his or her immune system
• If you are pregnant and have been in contact with a child within two weeks before the fifth disease rash appeared on the child

PDF: Child Health Information - FIFTH DISEASE

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 2000

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 2000


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