Munson Health
 
Fifth Disease

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by McCoy K

(Erythema Infectiosum; Parvovirus B19; Slapped Cheek Disease)

 

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Usually, fifth disease does not require any treatment other than rest.
Treatment options include the following:

Medications

Antiviral medications can prevent or weaken infections caused by specific viruses. Right now, there are no antiviral medications for fifth disease.
Some medications may help relieve some symptoms:
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help reduce joint pain or fever.
  • Anti-itch medications may be used to relieve itching caused by the rash.

People With Chronic Anemia

Fifth disease can cause more severe symptoms if you have sickle cell disease or other types of chronic anemia . You may develop a severe anemia. This is dangerously low level of red blood cells. The anemia will require treatment. It may include hospitalization and blood transfusions.

People With Immune Problems

Weakened immune systems can lead to a more severe infection. If you have immune problems your doctor may recommend special medical care. This may include preventive treatment with antibodies.

Women Who Are Pregnant

This type of infection can cause problems in about 5% of pregnant women. Although the complications are rare they can be severe. A parvovirus B19 infection during pregnancy may cause a miscarriage or severe anemia in the baby. If you are pregnant and believe that you may have this infection or have been exposed to someone with the infection, see your doctor.
 

RESOURCES

American Academy of Family Physicians
http://familydoctor.org

Nemours Foundation
http://www.kidshealth.org

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

AboutKidsHealth
http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca

BC Health Guide
http://www.bchealthguide.org

 

References


Fifth disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated October 2011. Accessed August 3, 2012.


Fifth disease. Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial%5Fviral/fifth.html . Accessed August 3, 2012.


Parvovirus B19 (fifth disease). US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parvovirusB19/fifth-disease.html . Accessed August 3, 2012.


Parvovirus B19 infection and pregnancy. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parvovirusB19/pregnancy.html . Accessed August 3, 2012.

 

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