Fifth disease treatment
Chandroutie Santoo-Vazquez, FNP-BCOnline skin consult
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- Loyal patients
About Fifth disease
Fifth disease - also known as a parvovirus infection or erythema infectiosum - is a common and contagious childhood disease. Sometimes called “slapped cheek disease”, a parvovirus infection often appears as a red rash on the face - specifically the cheeks. A parvovirus infection is known as “fifth disease” because it commonly appeared in the fifth spot of a list detailing the most common childhood illnesses.
Fifth disease can affect people of all ages but is most commonly diagnosed in children. Once your body has been exposed to the virus, it develops an immunity to it, so if you have the disease as a child you are unlikely to get it as an adult.
In many cases, fifth disease causes little to no symptoms. Most instances of fifth disease are mild and require little treatment.
- Runny nose
After these early symptoms appear, a bright red rash may appear on the face, trunk, arms, legs, or buttocks of the infected child. The rash may be itchy and may appear more intensely after exposure to the sun. This skin condition usually occurs toward the end of the disease, as the body is beginning to recover. It may recur off and on for several weeks, but will generally cause little to no other additional symptoms.
In adults, fifth disease commonly manifests as joint pain and low-grade fever symptoms. Most adults do not develop the rash that children do.
The parvovirus is highly contagious, so if you or your child are experiencing the symptoms listed above, it is important that you socially distance yourself from healthy individuals to prevent the spread of the illness. This means staying home and avoiding public settings, as the disease can be passed through saliva, coughing, and close contact.
Fifth disease typically requires minimal treatment. Because it is highly contagious, it is recommended that you only seek in-person medical attention if absolutely necessary. Below are various treatment options used to relieve symptoms of fifth disease. During your appointment, talk to your health care provider about the treatment plan that is right for you.