Fifth disease, sometimes called "slapped-cheek disease", is a very common childhood illness that is caused by a virus called human parvovirus B19.
It is called "slapped-cheek disease" because a rash develops on the face that makes it look as if the cheeks were slapped.
The disease is spread like most viruses, through coughing and sneezing, and is most contagious before the rash appears.
Symptoms are mild and flu-like; runny nose, sore throat, headache. Several days after the onset of these symptoms, a rash will appear, first on the face and then can spread to other parts of the body.
If your child has fifth disease, your doctor will advise you on how to treat the condition at home. This usually includes bed rest, lots of fluids, and children’s pain relievers.
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