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Fifth Disease (cont.)

What Causes Fifth Disease?

Infection with human parvovirus B19 was identified as the cause of fifth disease in 1975, although Robert Willan first reported the rash in 1799 as "rubeola, sine catarrho" (rubeola, measles without cough).

What Are Fifth Disease Risk Factors?

Risk factors for developing fifth disease center around the winter and spring seasons and frequenting areas of high contagiousness (for example, preschool and early elementary school). Since the most contagious time period is when the child has no overt symptoms, exposure to a healthy child is a common experience. Those with fifth disease who are immune-compromised are potentially more at risk for the development of complications than their peers with intact immune systems. Pregnant women who develop fifth disease may potentially develop problems with the fetus and should discuss their individual case with their obstetrician.

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Fifth Disease?

Fifth disease is a mild, self-limited childhood illness that resolves without specific treatment. The symptoms may, however, resemble those of other illnesses. If you have any doubt, contact your doctor for a diagnosis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/10/2016

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