Doctor insights on:
What Does Fifth Disease Look Like
Fifth disease is a condition in which a person (usually a child) has a rash due to "parvovirus B19" infection. The mild rash may resemble a "slapped-cheek" with reddened cheeks. Joint pain, fever, and general flu-like symptoms may also occur. This infection goes away without treatment in healthy children and adults, but pregnant ...Read more
I see clusters yrly: As an illness, fifth disease usually makes its rounds amoung the infant and toddler set . I see it in clusters, affecting one or another day care center or church nursery in waves, followed by months when no cases come in.A few years back we had a wave that affected toddlers, teens and a few adults, which was a bit unusual ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Clinical label: No one ever tests for fifth disease outside of a research hospital or in cases where an OB wants to confirm infection in a pregnant lady.A blood test at diagnosis & 2 weeks later is not realistic for a self healing minor illness. In the years before fancy lab tests many conditions were labeled clinically, like smallpox, chickenpox, etc. The name fifth came from its ranking as the 5th rash illness ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Slapped-cheek rash: Fifth disease is caused by parvovirus b19. The illness begins with a prodrome of fever, runny nose, headache, nausea, and diarrhea. 2-5 days later, the classic red rash on the face ("slapped cheek rash") appears. This rash on the face is usually followed by a lacelike rash on the trunk and extremities. ...Read more
Coughs and sneezing: Fifth disease is a viral infection and is mainly spread by droplets from the nose and mouth. These can be passed to others especially through sneezing and coughing. The best prevention is good handwashing and teach children to cover their coughs with their upper arm. It is most contagious before the patient has any symptoms at all and is not really contagious after the face rash shows up. ...Read more
Once: However, it is a pattern illness, meaning we look at the pattern of symptoms and the pattern of the rash, to come up with the diagnosis.Few, outside of a research facility would have blood tests to verify the illness. Sometimes the label is applied when it is not the real deal. I can see where someone might think they had it more than once. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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