Fifth disease is a viral infection caused by the human parvovirus, B19. Most cases appear in winter and spring, and clusters or outbreaks are not unusual in elementary and middle schools.
How is it spread?
- Mode of spread probably involves respiratory secretions and blood.
- Can be transmitted from infected mother to a fetus, but this happens in less than 5% of pregnant women infected with parvovirus. 50% of adults have serological evidence of past infection and are probably not susceptible to reinfection.
How is it treated?
Treatment is supportive. Acetaminophen may be recommended to control fever. Fluids and rest are encouraged.
How can we prevent Fifth Disease?