Fifth Disease

Updated on March 17, 2008
J.W. asks from Helena, MT
5 answers

Hello ladies,
So I took my son to the ER last night because he had a fever of 104 and was having a hard time breathing. His face was so red and he just kept crying and saying ouwwww. My sister and I decided to take him into the hospital because the fever was only breaking for an hour after giving him Tylenol or Advil. The doctor barely looked him over said wow his cheeks are really really red, does he have a rash. I told the doctor yes and showed it to him and he says wow thats a classic case of fifth disease. My sis and I had never heard of this before. Has anyone ever had this or had their children have it? I am very good friends with my daycare lady and informed her of what is going on with my son and neither one of us is really sure how to clean to make sure this doesnt happen to any of the other children. Reading the gestation time is forever long so there is no real way to tell when he came into contact with it. Someone please help me if you know anything.. thank you in advance. =0)

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answers from Denver on

It doesn't matter where he got it, it is a very common childhood thing to get. Once the rash appears they are no longer contagious from what I understand. It isn't anything you can prevent. It is very common, don't worry too much. If it is fifths disease he will have immunity to getting it again.

Is fifth disease contagious?

Yes. A person infected with parvovirus B19 is contagious during the early part of the illness, before the rash appears.
By the time a child has the characteristic "slapped cheek" rash of fifth disease, for example, he or she is probably no longer contagious and may return to school or child care center. This contagious period is different than that for many other rash illnesses, such as measles, for which the child is contagious while he or she has the rash.

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answers from Denver on

You have some great links for info regarding Fifths Disease.

I just wanted to add that this can be VERY DANGEROUS for pregnant women who are around a child with this disease. If you know of a pregnant woman who has been near your son, or if you are pregnant yourself, talk to you doctor immediately. I don't want to scare you, but it can affect a fetus.

Just wanted to add that - often people don't know how serious it is around a pregnant woman.


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answers from Salt Lake City on

My son had it when he was 2. I own and operate a group home daycare and not one other child got it, nor did I do any extra cleaning other than the normal daycare sanitizing daily/weekly. I don't think it is as easily transferred as they would like us to believe. Other wise would'nt at least ONE of the five children his age that were exposed to it have gotten it also?

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answers from Denver on

Here is a link to the CDC.

My kids have never had it although my son was sent home once from preschool for the slapped cheek appearance. We took him to the doctor and my son was fine. Recently there was a case at my other son's preschool and none of the other kids got it.

It's a parvovirus and like any other virus he needs to ride it through with supportive care.

Best wishes---I hope your son is feeling better soon.

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answers from Denver on

Fifth's Disease is a fairly common rash caused by a virus. People are most likely contagious before the rash breaks. Therefore there's no real way to prevent it except good hygiene (hand washing, etc.). I hope he feels better soon!

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