Fifth Disease is a viral illness that most kids recover from quickly and without complications. It is caused by the parvovirus and is especially common in kids ages 5 to 15.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- A distinctive red rash on the face that makes a child appear to have a "slapped face"
- A few days later a rash which is described as a lacy rash spreads down to the trunk, arms and legs and can last up to 1 to 3 weeks.
- Mild cold-like symptoms such as stuffy or runny nose
Fifth disease is contagious, but once the identifying rash appears, the person is usually no longer contagious. The contagious time is before the rash appears; therefore, there is no real way to prevent spreading the virus.
Because fifth disease is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not prescribed. In most cases, this is a mild illness that clears up on its own, so no medicine is needed.
If your child has fifth disease it is important to inform the school nurse, because it is important to notify anyone pregnant who may have come in contact with fifth disease.