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A 27-year-old member asked:

Is fifth disease contagious?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Yes: People who get parvovirus b19 infection can have no symptoms or can get "fifth disease". Kids get a rash, mild fever, and/or mild cold symptoms. Adults get a rash, some joint aches, and/or joint swelling. Infected persons, with or without symptoms, mostly recover without complications and have immunity against re-infection. The virus is spread from person to person just like colds are spread.
Dr. Bac Nguyen
Family Medicine 23 years experience
Before the rash: Fifth disease is a viral illness (parvo b19) and often not a biggy for children, except some cold-like symptoms and then the rash.."slapped cheeks" and blanching rash on body. Often, by the time the rash appears, it is no longer contagious. For adult, joint pain can be a problem, and this infection can adversely affect the unborn baby (hydrops fetalis). Consult doc if you have concerns. Good luck.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

How long is my child contagious with fifth disease?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Until after the rash: Fifth disease, caused by parvovirus b19, is contagious from before symptoms begin, until the rash appears. When the rash appears, the patient is getting well, and only a little contagious (unknown exactly "how contagious"). Kids are allowed to return to school a couple of days after the rash appears.
A 38-year-old member asked:

Under what conditions is fifth disease not contagious?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
when rash appears: Fifth disease in no longer contagious as soon as the rash is present & the diagnosis is made possible.

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Last updated Dec 9, 2013

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