What is the Fifth Disease?
It is one of five prevalent infectious illnesses in children that causes a fever and rash. The fifth disease was simply known as that by doctors after they came up with names for measles, rubella, roseola, and scarlet fever. Erythema infectiosum is the medical term for the condition, but it also goes by the more creative label “slapped-cheeks disease.” This is due to the fact that children with a fifth illness frequently acquire an angry red rash on their cheeks after the contagious time has passed. As it covers the body, arms, thighs, and buttocks, it turns from this to a pink lacy design. The rash, which may itch, can get worse with exercise or washing. On rare occasions, a youngster may experience joint pain along with a rash and need medical attention.
The real disease usually appears seven to ten days before the rash and is so minor that parents hardly notice it. A temperature (often under 103 degrees F) and possible headache, red eyes, lethargy, and sore throat are some of its symptoms. But occasionally there aren’t even any symptoms.
If your child contracts the fifth condition, you could have joint discomfort and swelling for a few weeks. Although these symptoms can be rather severe, they are not long-lasting.
What causes the Fifth Disease?
The human parvovirus, which can also cause arthritis, is responsible for the fifth disease. It typically occurs in late winter or early spring and most frequently affects kids between the ages of 5 and 14.
How should I react if my child contracts a Fifth Disease?
The best remedies are to keep your child at home and give him plenty of fluids because there is no medicine that will cure the condition. Calamine lotion, an over-the-counter treatment, helps relieve itching, and acetaminophen can reduce a fever. (Use caution when administering aspirin to anyone under the age of 20 suffering from this or any other viral disease; it may cause Reye’s syndrome, a potentially fatal condition.) Your child can go to daycare or school without any issues once the rash starts to show up.
A child with sickle-cell anemia should avoid the fifth disease since it can be hazardous despite the fact that it is often a mild viral infection. Rarely, it may also put a fetus’s life in danger during the early half of pregnancy. Consult your child’s doctor right away if they have sickle cell anemia and the fifth disease. Keep him at home if he only has the fifth disease to prevent infecting expectant mothers or other vulnerable individuals. In fact, your child may already be affected if a child in his class or childcare center has the fifth disease. You can send your child to daycare or school as long as he doesn’t have a fever or any other symptoms, but try to keep him away from pregnant women. Antibody testing can be used to determine whether pregnant childcare providers and preschool instructors have ever had the disease.
The fifth sickness typically takes 10 days to complete its course. The rash may resurface for a few weeks following, made worse by sunlight, heat, fever, or even stress, but this does not mean that the condition has returned. If your child’s fever persists for more than a few days or rises above 102 degrees F, call your pediatrician.
Can the Fifth Disease be avoided?
The best method to increase your child’s chances of avoiding it is to ensure he frequently washes his hands and doesn’t share cups or eating utensils, as is true with most contagious diseases.