Fifths Disease, also known as Parvovirus B19, is one of the most common viral diseases. It causes more than 200,000 cases per year. It mostly affects children of the age five to fifteen. Even though it can affect adults but rarely. It usually is a non life threatening virus, but if your immune system is weakened or you are pregnant, it can have some very negative impact. Usually though there is no need for any medication, because at this time there is no medication that will shorten the course of the virus.This virus is very common and results in a red rash on arms, legs, and cheeks. The rash looks bright red and usually starts on the cheeks.
Fifths disease, is sometimes called slapped cheek syndrome, because the rash on the cheeks looks like a whoever has the virus has been slapped in the cheeks.
Fifths disease is an airborne virus that is spread through saliva and respiratory secretions. It can be passed when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or through blood contact. This is very common for school aged children due to how it is spread. Fifths disease is most common in the winter and spring, but can be caught at any time.
Symptoms to look out for are headache, fatigue, low-grade fever, sore throat, nausea, runny nose, and stuffy nose. These symptoms can start showing between four to fourteen days after exposure to the virus. Usually a few days after these symptoms are present then the rash will appear. Once the rash has appeared you are no longer contagious. The rash usually shows on the cheeks then can spread to the arms and legs. Not everyone will present the rash, children under the age of ten are most likely to get the rash. Adults usually experience joint pain instead of the other symptoms.
There are no preventions to fifths disease. There is no vaccine. There is no way to stop the virus spreading. The best way to try and prevent the virus from spreading is making sure to wash your hands. Since you are already not contagious once the rash is present then you can no longer spread the disease. So just making sure that you wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
A primary care physician can diagnose Fifth disease. The doctor usually can tell it is Fifths disease by looking at the rash. Again at this time there won’t be much the doctor will do since you will no longer be contagious and at this moment there is no medication to change the duration of the virus. If there is symptoms causing discomfort, you can take Tylenol to help alleviate those. It can take between one to three weeks to fight off the virus.
Fifths disease is very common in children and usually isn’t life threatening. Once you have Fifths disease you are known to be immune for life. Remember to wash your hands regularly to prevent catching any virus. Consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
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Remember to wash your hands regularly to prevent catching any virus.