The fifth disease is a sudden, bright red rash on the cheeks that looks like a slap in the face of children. A slap on the cheek is a strong sign of the fifth illness, and if it is accompanied by one of the other flu-like symptoms, your healthcare provider will diagnose the fifth illness in the office with other tests. If there are no distinctive rashes on the face or body or other symptoms, the doctor will perform a blood test to see if other symptoms are caused by the fifth disease.
Why is it called the fifth disease?
It is merely a coincidence. During the classification of the common skin rashes and diseases in children, it was numbered in the fifth position. Therefore, it got its name as the fifth disease. It causes swollen glands, red eyes, sore throat, diarrhea, and a rash that looks like a blister or bruise. Because of the rash that some people get on their faces, it is also called a slap in the face.
Parvovirus infection is known as the fifth disease because it is the fifth on the list of the most common childhood diseases characterized by rashes. The name of the “fifth disease” stems from its place on the standard list of rashes caused by childhood diseases, including measles (first), scarlet fever (second), rubella, and Duke disease (fourth, which is no longer accepted as separate from scarlet fever) and roseola (sixth). When beaten or controlled, the appearance of the rash indicates erythema infectiosum and is often confused with other skin diseases or infections.
What is fifth disease caused by?
The fifth disease, also known as erythema infectiosum, is caused when the parvovirus B19 infects humans. There is no vaccine to prevent it, and there is no real way to prevent the spread of the disease because the person at the time of the rash is not contagious. The rash is due to the immune system response that occurs when an infection is passed on, and the disease is contagious when it occurs.
Parvovirus B19 can also cause other rashes, such as papular and purple glove and sock syndrome. Some viral infections can cause non-specific viral symptoms such as mild fever and headaches.
Symptoms of fifth disease
A child can develop cold or flu-like symptoms such as
- sluggish fever,
Also, there can be a general feeling of illness from four to 14 days after infection with the human parvovirus B19. Parvoviruses with this infection are referred to as “slap disease” because a distinct rash develops on the face.
Children with cancer (such as leukemia), HIV infection, or certain forms of anemia (low red blood cell count, such as sickle cell disease) should immediately go to the hospital if they get the fifth disease.
What are the stages of the fifth disease?
There are various stages of the fifth disease or erythema infectiosum.
- The first stage often lasts between 6-18 days. This stage is a highly contagious period. Infection can be spread through children simply by touching. However, a rash (erythema infectiosum) occurs after a few days with firm, red cheeks that feel like burning hot.
- If a child is contagious, a rash can occur before they know they have the disease. Known rashes are caused by children’s cheeks turning red.
- In the second stage of infection, the disease becomes less contagious.
- In the third week, a red rash appears on the cheeks. And it looks like a slap in the face.
Complications in Erythema infectiosum
After a few days of symptoms, your child can develop a bright red and raised rash on the face. After a few days of the first symptoms, a distinctive red rash may appear on the face and cheeks of the children.
In people with chronic red blood cell diseases such as Sickle cell disease, the infection can lead to severe anemia. Parvovirus B19 can infect humans but is not the same as parvovirus in dogs and cats. People usually spread the disease when they have flu-like symptoms or get a rash.
One should avoid the following things as it can severe the complications:
- Excessive exposure to sunlight. Do not move out in the sun unnecessarily.
- Extensive workout– As it can lead to harsh complications due to sweating.
- Avoid extreme weather conditions. Both hot and cold.
- Do not take mental stress. This can affect you very badly without your knowledge.
Fifth disease during pregnancy
Most individuals who come into contact with the virus that causes the fifth illness and people who later develop an infection may have no drawback in consequence. According to CDC, roughly 40 to 50 percent of pregnant women are resistant to the virus. So it is unlikely that they will receive infection even after exposure to the virus.
However, some women who are not immune to the virus may feel some mild symptoms. Signs could embody:
- Joint ache
- a light rash
A developing fetus may not get infected, but it surely’s attainable for a mom to transmit the situation to her unborn baby.
In uncommon circumstances, a fetus whose mom has contracted parvovirus B19 can develop extreme anemia. This situation makes it troublesome for the creating fetus to make RBCs(red blood cells), and it may result in miscarriage in women.
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There’s no remedy for the fifth illness throughout being pregnant. Nevertheless, your physician will possibly request further monitoring. This may occasionally embody:
- extra prenatal visits
- further ultrasounds and much more
Fifth disease treatment
Specifically, there is no treatment or vaccine available for the fifths disease. Medicines given are just to reduce the symptoms in your child.
You may be prescribed:
- Acetaminophen– To lower body temperature in case of high fever.
- Antihistamines– It is given for itching and rashes.
However, it is strictly advisable to follow the doctor’s advice in case of severe complications. Do not self-medicate yourself.
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