The doctor said we could come in if needed, but it was probably just fifth disease – or, “erythema infectiosum,” as the doctor referred to it. No complications, nothing to worry about. If no fever, you can even send him to school, the doctor said.
Slapped cheek syndrome isn't a serious illness, but it isn't very nice, so here's what to do if your little one gets unwell.
The third stage of symptoms usually begins one to four days after the
appearance of the "slapped cheek" rash. During this stage, the rash will
usually spread to your child’s chest, stomach, arms and thighs. The rash
usually has a raised, lace-like appearance and may cause discomfort and
itching. By this time your child should no longer be infectious and they
will be able to return to school without the risk of passing the infection
Now that rubella and measles are rare in countries with widespread immunisation, erythema infectiosum is the commonest cause of infectious childhood rash.
A nasty name... but usually a mild illness. For some, however, slapped cheek disease can pose more serious risks.
Fifth disease is a mild rash illness caused by parvovirus B19. It is more common in children than adults. A person usually gets sick with fifth disease within 14 days after getting infected with parvovirus B19. This disease, also called erythema infectiosum, got its name because it was fifth in a list of historical classifications of common skin rash illnesses in children. Some people may get a second rash a few days later on their chest, back, buttocks, or arms and legs. The rash may be itchy, especially on the soles of the feet.
Sometimes, fifth disease does not cause any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include mild cold symptoms (stuffy nose, runny nose, slight fever), body aches, headache and fatigue. These symptoms pass after three or four days and are followed primarily in children by a rash that is bright red and usually begins on the cheeks (the "slapped cheek" rash). This facial rash is followed by a lacy, flat rash that appears on the arms, legs, trunk and buttocks. The blotchy rash may itch, and it may last from several days to several weeks before it fades.
The bright red rash usually starts on the face. Then, red blotches (usually lighter in color) appear on the trunk, arms, and legs. After a few days, the rash, which can be itchy, takes on a lacy net-like look.
Slapped cheek syndrome (fifth disease) is common in children and should clear up on its own within 3 weeks. It's rarer in adults, but can be more serious.
Fifth Disease is caused by human parvovirus B19, a DNA virus in the parvovirus family of viruses. This is the only virus in this family that causes disease in humans.