Fifth disease in children and healthy adults

Fifth disease in children and healthy adults is a common illness that does not have any lasting effects. However, 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 of the baby. Fifth disease can cause fetal anemia, which if undetected can have severe consequences. If the baby’s blood count becomes too low, which happens with fetal anemia; intrauterine death can result. Fortunately, this tragic outcome can be circumvented with the correct and prompt diagnosis and treatment. To learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of fifth disease in pregnancy, please click on the “diagnosis & treatment” icon.

Facts on fifth disease in pregnancy

30% of fetuses will acquire fifth disease from infected mothers

10% of mothers who are affected with fifth disease will loose their fetus

3% of infected fetuses will develop anemia (fetal hydrops)

60-80% of fetuses survive fetal hydrops when treated with an intrauterine blood transfusion (more details in diagnosis section)

To find out if you are at risk, please select the “Am I at risk?” icon on our home page