Fifth disease is caused by a virus. It is an infection of the airway and lungs. There is no medicine to stop or treat it.
Fifth disease can start with fever and muscle ache. Then, a week or so later a very red rash may appear on the cheeks. It looks like the child’s face has been slapped. In 1 to 4 days, a red spotted rash may appear on the arms. The rash then spreads to rest of the body and may last from 1 to 3 weeks. The child may also have a fever. Once the rash appears, fifth disease is no longer catching.
The illness is often very mild. Sometimes a child may not even feel sick. Adults usually get a worse case with fever and painful joints.
At least 50% of adults have had fifth disease as children and will not get it again.
The following people should talk to their doctor if they get fifth disease:
Women who are or who may become pregnant can have a blood test to see if they are immune to fifth disease.
After someone with fifth disease has breathed, coughed or sneezed.
About Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.
Print this page as featured in the guide book, Sneezes & Diseases: A Resource Book for Caregivers & Parents