What Is Fifth Disease? What Are Its Symptoms And Home Remedies?

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.