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Fifth Disease

What is 5th disease?

Fifth disease is caused by a virus called parvovirus B19. It commonly infects children and typically causes a mild rash that may resemble a “slapped-cheek”. Other symptoms that can occur include joint pain (arthralgia), fever and general flu-like symptoms. This disease does not have any lasting effects in healthy children and adults. However if contracted when pregnant or immuno-compromised (a weak immune system), complications may arise. Transmission of fifth disease from the mother to baby can have serious implications to the health of the baby. Fifthdisease can cause fetal anemia, which if undetected can have severe consequences.

Many people with fifths disease show no symptoms at all. Therefore, the only way to definitively diagnose it is to have a test. Approximately 50-60% of adults have had the disease and are immune. However, those who are not immune may be at risk from picking up this infection, particularly healthcare providers, childcare providers and teachers.

In some cases, however, where symptoms are not evident; a blood test must be carried out. When your sample of blood arrives in the laboratory, testing is carried out for specific antibodies that your body produces in response to fifth disease.
Erythema Infectiosum Macullopapular Facial Rash Slapped-Cheek Syndrome
American baby
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In 1997, I was six months pregnant with my second child. My son Shadley was a student at Jefferson Elementary, where I volunteered as a room mother. One day, after...
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If contracted during pregnancy, fifth disease may cause complications. Transmission of fifth disease from the mother to baby can have serious implications to the health...

Fifth Disease - Pregnancy - Diagnosis & Treatment - Ask the Expert - Am I at Risk

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