Fifth Disease in Children – Child Healthcare

What is fifth disease?

Fifth disease is a moderately contagious viral infection that is commonly experienced by school-aged children. Fifth disease in children is easily identified by a distinctive red rash on the child’s face. Fifth Disease (parvovirus B19), Erythema Infectiosum

  • Viral infection that primarily affects children ages 4-15.
  • Peak incidence is during winter and spring.
  • Spreads by contact with saliva/sputum via coughing, sneezing, runny nose, sharing toys or sharing eating utensils.
  • Typically self-limited in healthy children and adults, problems arise if uncompromised or pregnant.

Symptoms of Fifth Disease in Children: Joint Pain, Fever, and Rashes

The initial symptoms may include flu-like symptoms, joint pain and fever. The fever then subsides and a rash appears on the cheeks and occasionally on the arms, legs and torso. The cheeks are often described as appearing as if the child has been slapped. The body rash often appears lace-like.

Fifth Disease Treatment & Child Healthcare

Once rashes in children appear, they are no longer contagious and may return to normal activities.

Fifth disease in children typically appears within 4-14 days of exposure.

If you are pregnant and exposed to someone with fifth disease, you should see your own physician for further evaluation/discussion.

Treatment for fifth disease in children is supportive care only.

****The information provided here is intended only as a supplement to the advice and information provided by our physicians and nurses during direct patient interactions at Health Care for Children. This information should never take the place of an actual physical examination. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your concerns with our nursing staff directly.****

Learn More

Call our Northland-based practice and we would be happy to help you figure out if rashes in children could be a fifth disease diagnosis or not.

Call (816) 792-1170 for additional information or to schedule an appointment.

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Please call our office at 816-792-1170.