It is the fifth most contagious rash in children also known as Slapped Cheek disease. It is a mild infection that usually affects children between 5 to 15 years of age. In some cases rash is accompanied by itching, headache, mild fever and sore throat.
Symptoms Of Fifth Disease
- The area around the mouth looks relatively pale and bright red rash develops on both the cheeks.
- After a few days on the upper part of arms and legs slightly raised pink rash appears and then spreads to the lower limbs and sometimes trunk.
- Exposure to heat, sunlight, exercise and trauma can reactivate the rash. It appears and goes over 1 to 3 weeks.
- Achy joints and arthritis are common. Both sides of the body are equally affected and the joint pain may linger for weeks without a rash.
- Adults who develop fifth disease may have mild rash or no rash at all.
Fifth Disease is caused by a virus, Parvovirus B19 and spreads from person to person by breathing, sneezing, coughing and by respiratory droplets. The virus is in the incubation period for 4 to 14 days and may be contagious then. After the appearance of the rash it is no longer contagious.
Home Remedies For Fifth Disease
- In case of fever, dip a sponge in lukewarm water and wipe the child. Let the water evaporate by itself and repeat till the temperature reduces.
- Plenty of fluids should be taken as a lot of water is lost in the form of sweat.
- Keep the sick child in a cool, well ventilated room and don’t wrap in blankets.
- Adults and older children (above 16 years) can take mild painkillers to relieve joint pains, if present.
- The risk of catching an infection can be reduced through good hygiene.
- An infected child should be kept away from people with blood disorders, impaired immunity and pregnant women because fifth disease suppresses the production of RBC’s temporarily.