Fifth Disease (Erythema Infectiosa)
This is a mild viral illness which causes a pink rash on the body and
extremities. A red rash on both cheeks may be noticed and gives the appearance of slapped cheeks. There is low-grade or no fever,mild sore throat and runny nose may occur. The rash becomes more pronounced after warm baths, exercise, and exposure to the sun. This rash may come
and go for a few weeks. Sometimes, the child develops joint pains
during or after the illness.
This infection is caused by a virus called parvovirus. It can cause other serious problems if someone has a certain hereditary anemias or suppressed immunity, or a pregnant woman is infected during the first three months of pregnancy. Fifth disease is contagious before the rash appears. The virus is transmitted in infected saliva and nasal secretions.
Call the Doctor if the child has:
high or persistent fever
significant cold symptoms with red watery eyes (suggestive of measles)
significant joint pain
significant joint swelling
Treatment at Home:
Most children do not require any treatment
low grade fever can be handled by light clothing, tepid bath and cool environment.
Avoid wam baths and direct sunlight might trigger rash reocuurs
There is no need for exclusion from the class
Pregnant women who were in close contact with the child before the rash had appeared should be notified to contact their physician.