Children developing rashes is a common complaint among parents. A lot depends on the root causes and the intensity of a rash. While some rashes go away as soon as they appear, there are others that we may have to watch out for. Some of these could be viral infections.
Fifth disease, also known popularly as ‘slapped cheek disease’ is one such illness that spreads via viruses. If you are clueless about this condition, it is important to know all the information pertaining to the same. This will help you get prompt treatment after an early diagnosis.
Fifth Disease Or Slapped Cheek Disease:
Fifth disease or slapped cheek disease is caused due to the spread of a virus known as parovirus B9.
- The disease is also referred to as erythema infectiosum in medical terms.
- Most times, the symptoms in adults are not traced at the onset of the disease.
- The infection is likely to spread during the months of winter and spring.
- This rash is very prominent between the age group of 5 and
- Children with fifth disease develop a typical red rash on the face across the cheek, as though they have been slapped.
- This rash later tends to spread to other parts of the body.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Fifth Disease In Children:
Below are some signs that you can watch out for to trace the symptoms of fifth disease:
- Starting of a mild fever
- Mild flu like symptoms
- Frequent stuffy or runny nose
- Appearance of a bright red rash after a few days of fever and cold
- Spreading of rash into red blotches from face to arms, trunk and legs
- No rash on soles and palms while spreading elsewhere
- Appearance of a lacy net like patch as rash subsides
- Itchy rash complained by older children above 10 years
- Relapse of the rash after being exposed to sun rays, light and stress
- Swollen glands
- Blood shot eyes
- Swelling or pain in wrists, ankles and knees
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Diagnosis And Treatment:
As soon as you see any of the above mentioned symptoms, it is important you report the same to your child’s pediatrician. The doctor will then do the required blood tests to confirm the presence of parovirus B19 to cause fifth disease.
1. There is no confirmed treatment medically in the form of antibiotics, as they are mostly ineffective on viral infections.
2. There is no vaccine developed yet for the disease as it is very difficult to isolate the incubation period away from the symptoms.
3. As the signs develop only after infection subsides there is no telling if the child is actually infected till such time.
4. The condition is said to go away on its own after a proper home based care in the form of diet, hygiene and rest.
5. The doctor may recommend a dose of acetaminophen for fever and joint pains, if present.
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Duration Of Fifth Disease:
Usually, the infection lasts anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks:
- Older children may complain of ongoing symptoms of joint pain and swelling even months after the rash subsides.
- These symptoms will eventually go away on their own.
- It is important to discuss at length with the doctor if the symptoms persist for a longer period of time, from months to a year.
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