Fifth disease

Fifth disease is an infectious disease caused by parvovirus B19 which mainly affects children and young people between the ages of 5 and 15.

Overview

Fifth disease is an infectious disease caused by parvovirus B19 which mainly affects children and young people between the ages of 5 and 15. Asymptomatic or mild progression is normal. Typical symptoms include a slight fever and a rash on the cheeks, extremities and torso. General hygiene measures can help prevent an infection.

Symptoms

Symptoms

Incubation period: 4-14 days

  • Course
    • Children: asymptomatic or mild progression
    • Adults: often severe progression
Possible symptoms
  • Slightly reduced general condition
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Characteristic skin rash (only for around 20% of infections)
    • Cheeks, so-called butterfly rash (nose and mouth aren't affected)
    • Torso and extremities (lacy appearance)
    • Slight itching
Complications

Causes and treatment

Cause

Diagnosis

  • Physical examination
  • Blood test (search for pathogen), if necessary

Treatment

  • Treatment usually isn't necessary
  • Treatment of symptoms, if necessary

What can I do myself?

  • Prevention
    • No vaccine available
    • Hygiene measures for prevention
    • Avoid direct contact with patients

When to see a doctor?

  • Severe progression and complications
  • Contact with a fifth disease patient during pregnancy
  • Stiff neck, disorientation
  • Fever and skin rash

Synonyms

fifth disease, erythema infectiosum, slapped cheek syndrome, parvovirus infection

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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