Fifth disease is a viral illness caused by the human parvovirus B19. It produces a distinctive red rash on the face, body, arms, and legs.

Spread by sneezing, coughing, or sharing drinking glasses, this illness starts with a slight fever, headache, and stuffy or runny nose. In a few days, a bright red rash appears on the face. After several days, it spreads to the rest of the body. The rash can take 1 to 3 weeks to completely disappear.

Because it is caused by a virus, antibiotics don't help. For most people, the symptoms are not bad enough to need medicine. Once someone has had fifth disease, they are immune and can't get it again.

Related categories 1

eMedicine: Erythema Infectiosum (Fifth Disease)
[ Teens/Mature Teens ] A common childhood disease caused by human Parvovirus B19 (PV-B19). Covers background, history, frequency, studies, treatment, and medication during infection.
KidsHealth: Fifth Disease
[ Kids/Teens/Mature Teens ] Features signs and symptoms, treatment, risks, prevention, and description of the parvo B19 virus that causes Fifth disease.
MedlinePlus: Fifth Disease
[ Teens/Mature Teens ] Learn what it is, causes, symptoms, and treatment. Includes picture of the rash that looks like slapped cheeks.
[Stuffed Mozilla]
Last update:
October 17, 2016 at 10:29:37 UTC
People and Society
School Time
Sports and Hobbies
Teen Life
Your Family
All Languages