Fifth Disease (Erythema Infectiosum)
Fifth Disease is a common viral illness that occurs most commonly in children. The child will present with cold symptoms, low grade fever, headache and stuffy/runny nose. After the symptoms subside, around 6-10 days later a "slapped-cheek" appearance may occur on the childs face and then a "lacey" rash may appear on the trunk and arms and legs. At this point the child usually does not have a fever or appear sick. At this point the child is not contagious, it is when the child is experiencing the cold symptoms, is when they are contagious. Adults may also acquire fifth disease. They may have a rash, and can also have joint pain or swelling. The most frequently affected areas are the hands, wrists and knees. If you experience itching from the rash, ask your doctor about treatment. Always call your child's doctor whenever they have a rash. Pregnant women should talk to their doctors about any exposures to Fifth Disease.