Viral Skin Diseases

Picture of Erythema Infectiosum

Picture of Fifth Disease (Erythema Infectiosum)

Fifth disease (erythema infectiosum) is a viral illness caused by parvovirus B19. Children who get the virus may develop a fever, headache, runny nose, and a characteristic red rash on the face ("slapped cheek rash"). The rash may spread to other parts of the body including the extremities, buttocks, chest, and back. Adults can also be affected by fifth disease. Joint pain can occur with fifth disease, more commonly in adult women. Joint pain usually subsides within weeks to months. Approximately one in five individuals with the infection does not experience any symptoms. Symptoms of fifth disease are usually mild and self-limiting. The illness can be serious in those who have compromised immune systems, including individuals with cancer, HIV, or organ transplant recipients. Fifth disease may lead to chronic anemia in those with weakened immune systems.

Image Source: Image Source: Color Atlas of Pediatric Dermatology Samuel Weinberg, Neil S. Prose, Leonard Kristal Copyright 2008, 1998, 1990, 1975, by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Text Reference: "Fifth Disease." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.