How much should I be concerned about Fifth Disease?

Patient

Q: A member of my family had Fifth Disease recently. He was at our Thanksgiving get together, as were other people who have been in contact with him including other kids. Since this disease can be dangerous to pregnant mothers, is highly contagious, and may not show any symptoms in adults, should I stay away from people in case I might be carrying Fifth Disease?

Symptoms:  None
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. Erythema infectiousum (Fifth Disease) is a contagious viral infection that is caused by parvovirus B19. It commonly infects school aged children and is spread via droplets of body fluid particularly in saliva. In children it presents with a sudden bright red rash on the cheeks. It rarely infects adults with the exception of pregnant women especially in their first trimester. In this case, if a pregnant woman is infected with parvovirus B19, their is a slight risk of developing anemia or even having a miscarriage. You may have been exposed to the virus, but if you are not showing any symptoms then it is likely that you are not infected. However, it would be wise to avoid contact with any pregnant women for about 7-10 days to make sure that you are not carrying the virus.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

Related Q&A

Q: I was walking up the stairs to go to bed and a white flash appeared in my peripheral vision on my left eye. I now per...

Q: After eating a rich meal for dinner, I began to experience an upset stomach. About three hours later, the pain became...

Q: Hello, I had my nose pierced about 4 weeks ago. I thought I was starting to get an infection but it turned out to be...

Q: I have been traveling and the day I left the lymph nodes in my neck started to swell. They are still sore to the touc...

Q: I abused Dust-Off computer duster because I was depressed. I huffed about 2 times. It was a short and then a long huf...

 
DOCTOR ADVISORY BOARD
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews