19 answers

Fifths Disease and Pregnancy

I am 32 weeks pregnant, and my husband, son and I were exposed to fifths disease on mothers (this past sunday.). The two infected persons we were exposed to developed a rash this wednesday. I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with this virus, before this outbreak I had never heard of it. I am wondering if my son or myself do contract the virus, is it dangerous to the fetus. Is it highly contagious? Any response is appreciated!

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I agree with the other posts. I'm a teacher and was in my second trimester when some kindergarten children got fifths disease. My doctor did a blood test to see if I had ever had chicken pox. I did and so I was fine.

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You probably have already been exposed as most of us are as children and don't even know. I was exposed during my second pregnancy and all is well. I found myself to be more stressed thinking about it than anything else. I would inform your doctor and see where he/she wants to take it from there. Please do not panic! Congratulations on #2! I am 30 wks. preg. with #3. God Bless.

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Hey S.,

I own a childcare center and have had experience with the virus. First I would call your doc to put your mind at ease he is the medical professional and the only one who can give you solid advice. It is my experience that it is only dangerous to pregnant women in their first trimester and you are way past that. As far as it being contagious it is like any other virus so yes it is contagious. But like I said check with your doc to make sure. Good luck I am sure you will be fine.,

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This just went around my child's daycare. It is nothing to worry about as it goes away on its own in a couple of weeks, and the symptoms are very MILD, and barely even noticeable (besides the rash), BUT I did read that for pregnant women who get it, it could be a serious issue.

You should talk to your doctor about it immediately (if you haven't already...). But I'm sure you'll be fine!

BTW - it is HIGHLY contagious, but the contagious stage is in the BEGINNING when no one even knows that they HAVE it at that point.

Take Care,

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Hi S.,

Yes, Fifth's Disease is very contagious and your son is likely to contract it after exposure. You *should* have immunity to it as most people have it before they turn 10 years old, but you may also come down with it. Thankfully it is just an annoying illness. When my son got it, he ran a low fever and had flu-like symptoms for a few days and then he developed this amazing rash on his cheeks and chest. His poor little cheeks looked like he had been in a fight, which is one reason why Fifth's Disease is also called Slapped Cheek syndrome. We took him to his pediatrician when the rash developed, and that's when we found out that Fifth's had been spreading through our area like wildfire. Within another few days, the rash lessened and eventually it went away completely. I have to say that the rash on his cheeks was pretty impressive. Poor kid.

Anyway, there is some risk to pregnant women who are exposed and may not immunity to Fifth's Disease. It can cause anemia in unborn fetuses and possibly complications with your pregnancy, so I would highly recommend you contact your doctor and let him/her know about your exposure. You will probably be monitored and watched carefully because it is likely you are immune. But do call your doctor. Better to be on the safe side.

Best to you!

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Since you are already at 32 weeks, your baby should be fine and have no problems, I'm sure. Try to just enjoy the rest of the pregnancy once you have gotten the good word from your doctor that all is well. Fifths disease is #5 in the measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox family. My son got it in the fourth grade. It looked like someone punched him on both cheeks, leaving a "fist" mark on each cheek, poor thing. He had the flat, lacy rash all over, with a 101 temp, and was quiet and grumpy for a few days, but that was it. My husband & I both got it next and we were so miserable with it! It effected our joints big time, and it took us each a long time to get over it. I couldn't go up or down the stairs in my house for five days because my knees were so swollen. I could hardly bend two of my fingers on my right hand. My husband moaned in his sleep from his joints hurting so much and we felt like two old folks even though we were only in our 30's! It took us both a few months to get back to normal. Those two fingers of mine continued to be stiff and achey for two years afterward! It was so weird. That must be were I'm going to have arthritis when I'm old! My fingers are fine now, thank goodness. I sure do hope all is well with you and with your wee one. Good luck, Honey, and God bless you both.
D. N.

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hi S., yes, fifths is very contagious. it is relatively harmless to anyone not pregnant. it can be dangerous to your fetus, however, most likely you have already had it and are immune. call your doc, there is a blood test to see if you are immune to it, and chances are good that you already had the blood test in that slew of bloodwork you had back a few months ago, thats what happened with me, i had been tested for it without even realizing it. in any case, i think that at 32 weeks it isnt a problem anyway.

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There is a simple blood test that your OB can do to find out if you were exposed and whether you are immune - most people have already been exposed to this virus and are therefore immune. If you are not immune (I was not) then they will conduct some ultrasounds to see whether your baby was affected at all - apparently this disease can cause anemia in the fetus - but this is typically only dangerous in your first trimester. I got this at the end of my first trimester and my baby turned out just fine - but I did have ultrasounds on a regular basis just in case. So get your butt to your OB ASAP but don't panic - at 32 weeks I am sure everything is just fine. Symptoms of the illness are low grade fever, achiness, fatigue, rash on your torso, sore throat and then you get soreness and stiffness in your joints. In adults it lasts quite a long time . . .so you will know something is up if you do get it.

Good luck

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Hi S.,

Definitely talk to your doctor. Because you are 32 weeks along, chances are, if you haven't already been exposed and contacted the virus, your baby will be fine. But please, PLEASE see your doctor.

My oldest got fifth disease when I was in my second trimester with our fourth child. My son's doctor said I should be fine but to get checked out. As it turns out my son got the disease from ME and I hadn't even realized I had it. I was infected in my first trimester which is not good. Sadly, my baby died from fifth disease at 35 weeks, so don't EVER assume.

I must stress that the doctors and nurses we baffled because this is a very rare occurrence, but apparently, it DOES happen. God blessings

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S., I had the same scare during my first pregnancy and I would just contact your ob and ask if they did a blood test to check if you had already been exposed to fifths disease (mine had done the test and I had been exposed in the past). If you have been exposed to it before, there is no danger to your fetus. However, if you have not been exposed and you become ill, there are potential risks.


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You need to call your doctor and get bloodwork done to see if you do have it. I was exposed during pregnancy and there are risks which your doctor can explain to you. Best of luck.

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Fifth's disease is parvovirus B19. Please read the info on the CDC website using the link below.


Call your OB ASAP to inform him/her and you will have to get the Parvovirus IgG and IgM antibody blood tests ASAP as well.

Wishing you all the best!

Both you and your son should be check out by your doctor.

I agree with the other posts. I'm a teacher and was in my second trimester when some kindergarten children got fifths disease. My doctor did a blood test to see if I had ever had chicken pox. I did and so I was fine.

Hi Shelley,
Yes Fifths Deisease is very contagious and yes, it can pose a severe danger to the unborn baby. Any pregnant woman who has been exposed should contact her OB right away, whether she's developed symptoms or not. Call your doctor, NOW.
Good luck

yes i do believe that is it not safe. my friend who is a teacher was exposed recently & had to stay home(she's pregnant), until she had a blood test. call you doctor. best of luck :)


Call your doctor. I am a teacher who is not immune to the disease and have to get tested each time I am exposed. It is basically two bloood tests, one immediately after you contact your doctor, and then one 3 weeks later to make sure that you still haven't contracted it.

Hi S.-
You should speak to your OBGYN, they may do a blood test to see if you were exposed. You have may been exposed years ago and didn't know it. The only way to tell is with a blood test.

call your obgyn immediately. it can be very dangerous to the fetus, but i can't remember in what trimester...
it's not dangerous to your other children or you

It can cause problems for your unborn child but I think it is earlier in pregnancy. But please be safe and call your OB. Tell them about it and they can do a blood test to see if you already have an immunity to it. Many people do and don't even know that they were ever in contact with it or even had it! I was exposed in the beginning of my 2nd trimester and the blood test showed I had an immunity. Didn't know I had ever even had it. A.

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