Fifth disease is named because it is the last condition in the list of five viral rashes that affects children. The other four include measles/mumps, rubella, roseola, and chicken pox. It is scientifically known as Erythema infectiosum. Although it is familiar with little kids, the disease is often mild. Adults rarely contract the virus, but if they do, it can be more severe. The virus called parvovirus B19 causes fifth disease. It spreads through sneezing, coughing, and other respiratory secretions. About 20 percent of young patients do not display any symptoms of fifth disease, but they can pass the virus along.
The primary symptom of fifth disease is bright red cheeks. For several decades, the condition was known as “slapped cheek disease” because of this particular trait. The virus does not only make the cheeks rosy but other areas of the body, too. If your child experiences this noticeable symptom, you need to consult with the doctor as soon as possible.
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