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Fifth Disease in Children

What is fifth disease?

According to Wikipedia, “Erythema infectiosum or fifth disease is one of several possible manifestations of infection by erythrovirus, previously called parvovirus. The disease is also referred to as slapped cheek syndrome, slap-cheek, and slap face or slapped face. Occasionally the rash will extend over the bridge of the nose or around the mouth. In addition to red cheeks, children often develop a red, lacy rash on the rest of the body, with the upper arms and legs being the most common locations. The rash typically lasts a couple of days and may itch; some cases have been known to last for several weeks. Patients are usually no longer infectious once the rash has appeared. Teenagers and adults may present with a self-limited arthritis. It manifests in painful swelling of the joints that feels similar to arthritis. Older children and adults with fifth disease may have difficulty in walking and in bending joints such as wrists, knees, ankles, fingers, and shoulders. The disease is usually mild,[4] but in certain risk groups it can have serious consequences. When symptoms are evident, there is little risk of transmission; therefore, symptomatic individuals need not be isolated.” Below are more questions about fifth disease in children that are answered by an Expert.

If a two year old has fifth disease and the mother is thirty-three weeks pregnant, can the mother get the fifth disease?

In most cases, if the person tests positive for the antibody, then they will not contract the fifth disease. Generally when a mother is exposed to the disease, then it is most dangerous to the fetus in the first few weeks of trimester, therefore if the mother is way past that point, then the disease should not affect the fetus.

Can a parent that works in the emergency room bring home fifth disease to her child that is not around other children?

In most cases, when a parent works at the emergency room, then there is a chance that he/she can be bringing the disease or germs home with them from their work place. The parent may want to make sure that they change all of their clothing before leaving work to prevent them from carrying home any other germs or diseases from the emergency room.

If a one year old has contacted fifth disease, the mother is six weeks pregnant and formed a rash, would the fetus be at risk?

In most cases, when a mother contracts fifth disease form their child and is pregnant, then there is generally nothing that the doctors can to do treat or protect the fetus from getting fifth disease. There are some cases that the mother has contracted the disease and then not passed it onto their fetus, and the number of fetuses that are infected is normally less than 5%.

If a child has had fifth disease, when would be the best time for them to return to daycare?

In most cases, when a child contracts fifth disease, then they are only contagious a few days before the rash appears and is not contagious while they have the rash. If the child has the rash, then it is generally okay for them to return to school/daycare and be around other children. In most cases, fifth disease is harmless in children and adults and generally only causes issues with pregnant women in their first trimester and people with sickle cell disease.

Fifth disease in children is a type of rash that may cause concern for the parents and child. Concerns would generally be if the disease is contagious or if the disease will affect a pregnant mother. When these concerns or questions arise, then the person can seek the answers from an Expert.

Ask a Pediatrician

Dr. Yogindra Vasavada
Dr. Yogindra Vasavada, Pediatrician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 2675
Experience:  M.D.(ped) passed at first attempt, in practice continuously for last 37 years. Certi. in Comp
16481530
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Dr. Yogindra Vasavada
Pediatrician
Satisfied Customers: 2507
M.D.(ped) passed at first attempt, in practice continuously for last 37 years. Certi. in Comp
Dr. Gupta
Pediatrician
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Board Certified, Ivy League educated Pediatrician.

Recent Fifth Disease Questions

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    My son has a temperature of 96.7
    and has been congested and coughing for the past few days. Yesterday morning his temperature was 101 and I treated it with motrin; but that was the last time he had any medication. Is this lower body temp serious?
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    Hello, my 2 hear old has similar foul smelling frequent gas, kept swallowing to a avoid vomitting, has had fever, was recently treated with Abx, but has finally is he'd the course at least 5 days before symptoms began, has no appetite, and prefers to lay on his belly due to abdominal discomfort, and gently pr3ssure on his abdomen releases a foul smelling gas, but since the symptoms started yesterday, he has no had a bm, but he has also not eaten much is yesterday as well, but does void as usual, please any advice?
  • 5 year old son woke up with terrible foot pain

    my 5 year old son woke up this morning with foot pain, it has now progressed and he is unable to walk or even allow me to touch his foot, visually i can literally see it pulsating there is also a small white hard pimple on his upper foot near his ankle

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