Monday, March 2, 2009

Fifths Disease

Has anyone else ever heard of this before? I hadn't until Friday, when Emily brought home a note from school saying that someone in her classroom (her friend) had a confirmed case of Fifths Disease. That afternoon Emily had a low grade fever, stuffy nose, headache, and didn't really want to eat, so I looked up Fifths Disease, and she had all the symptoms of this "disease". She's had them all weekend, so I started watching for the rash. Sure enough, this morning, she has the rash. She's been a trooper through it all, though, and even wanted to go to school this morning.

Apparently it's named Fifths Disease because it's the fifth classical rash-associated infection of childhood. Thankfully, it's not a serious thing, and Emily's not contagious anymore, now that she has the rash, and the other symptoms seem to be gone except for the stuffy nose. Just thought I'd pass along the information for all you moms out there with little ones.

FIFTHS 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.

Fifth disease (also called erythema infectiosum) is caused by parvovirus B19. A human virus, parvovirus B19 is not the same parvovirus that veterinarians may be concerned about in pets, especially dogs, and it cannot be passed from humans to animals or vice versa.
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.
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.
Parvovirus B19 spreads easily from person to person in fluids from the nose, mouth, and throat of someone with the infection, especially through large droplets from coughs and sneezes. http://kidshealth.org/


7 comments:

Rachel H. said...

That is SO crazy! I hope she is feeling better now after a down weekend.

Nicia said...

Sure hope she's feeling better today. Poor thing. Actually, the way she was talking to me last night, it sounded like she thought it was pretty cool that she had her friends "disease." haha. Anyway, you'll have to take a picture of her rash, I'm curious to see how it looks.

Jake & Lisa Danes said...

That is too bad that Emily got the "disease". I hope that her recovery is fast. And I am glad that the school sent a letter home.

Michelle said...

Yeah, that one's no fun. But I'm glad it sounds like she is feeling better! Gotta love how by the time someone figures out their child is contagious, they have already come in contact with multiple other children....

Nathan and Esther Manwaring said...

wow that is crazy. I have never heard of it either. That is so sad. I am glad she is feeling better. That must be miserable.

Graciy said...

poor thing! I really need to follow your blog more closely. I really hope she feels better soon. Thanks for educating us on it though, I had no idea.

nitasha danes/hanson said...

I have never heard of that! by the way.. HI