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.