Here’s what I learned:
What’s Fifth Disease?
Especially common in kids between the ages of 5 and 15, fifth disease typically produces a distinctive red rash on the face that makes the child appear to have a “slapped cheek.” The rash then spreads to the trunk, arms, and legs. Fifth disease is actually just a viral illness that most kids recover from quickly and without complications…
Signs and Symptoms
Fifth disease begins with a low-grade fever, headache, and mild cold-like symptoms (a stuffy or runny nose). These symptoms pass, and the illness seems to be gone until a rash appears a few days later. The bright red rash typically begins on the face. Several days later, the rash spreads and red blotches (usually lighter in color) extend down to the trunk, arms, and legs. The rash usually spares the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. As the centers of the blotches begin to clear, the rash takes on a lacy net-like appearance. Kids younger than 10 years old are most likely to get the rash.
…It may take 1 to 3 weeks for the rash to completely clear, and during that time it may seem to worsen until it finally fades away entirely….Other symptoms that sometimes occur with fifth disease include swollen glands, red eyes, sore throat, diarrhea, and rarely, rashes that look like blisters or bruises.
In some cases, especially in adults and older teens, an attack of fifth disease may be followed by joint swelling or pain, often in the hands, wrists, knees, or ankles.
A person with parvovirus infection is most contagious before the rash appears — either during the incubation period (the time between infection and the onset of symptoms) or during the time when he or she has only mild respiratory symptoms. Because the rash of fifth disease is due to an immune reaction (a defense response launched by the body against foreign substances like viruses) that occurs after the infection has passed, a child is usually not contagious once the rash appears…
In households where a child has fifth disease, another family member who hasn’t previously had parvovirus B19 has about a 50% chance of also getting the infection…Once infected with parvovirus B19, a person develops immunity to it and won’t usually become infected again.
I should have Googled it sooner. Then I wouldn’t have been so unnerved by the rash moving from Peter’s face to his arms today. Wish I had taken a picture of his face – I’ll snap one tomorrow. It really is weird. But he feels fine, except for a little itching. So, to celebrate everyone being better, we went to the carnival today at Frisco Square!
Well, these pictures are not the best, but all I had was my cellphone. Oh well, it was really fun!