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Fifth disease (erythema infectiosum)

This disease being with a mild fever cold symptoms and headache. In a few days time a red rash appears on the face. After another few days the rash can spread around the body.

Fifth disease is cause by the parvovirus B19. This is not to be confused with the parvovirus that veterinarians treat in pets. Fifth disease can not be passed from pets to humans.

Outbreaks usually happen in late winter and early spring.

Symptoms of Fifth disease

Red specs on the checks, nose, arms and bottom. These are often blurred. ‘Fifth disease’ Symptoms are often mistaken for a child being slapped. It can last for a period of 14 days and is mostly within the ages of 4 and 12.

Treatment for Fifth disease

There is no treatment for this – it is usually quite mild. As long as your child is health it should need no help to recover from this disease.

Incubation period for Fifth disease

Two weeks

Infectious period

When the rash disappears it is no longer infectious.


Pregnant women should avoid all contact with children that have ‘Filfth disease’. It can cause miscarriage in some cases. Any expectant mother should consult there doctor if they have a child who has ‘filth disease’.

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