Fifth disease, is a common childhood illness characterized by bright red cheeks. Fifth disease is an infection caused by the human parvovirus B19 and is also known as slapped cheek disease. The infection is spread through coughing and sneezing. It is a common illness in preschool and school-aged children but can be transmitted to adults. Fifth disease can lead to complications for pregnant women and those people with anemia or compromised immune systems.
Symptoms of Fifth Disease
Symptoms of fifth disease are similar to the flu and can include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Lacy, raised rash
- Stomach ache
- Achy joints
Once the lacy rash appears, the disease is no longer contagious. Fifth disease usually goes away on its own after a few weeks, but can be treated at home with rest, fluids and over-the-counter medication. A doctor's visit is imperative if there is a health condition that may increase the risk of complications, such as anemia, pregnancy or a compromised immune system.