The Children's Hospital at Westmead - Parents - Slapped cheek disease or fifth disease. A gateway to the strategies, policies, programs and services delivered by the Department of Health & Human Services. Disclaimer: This fact sheet is for education purposes only. Slapped cheek is a viral infection caused by the human parvovirus B19. However, as many as 78 percent of adults who experience symptoms will develop joint pain and swelling one to three weeks following the initial infection. The first signs may be: a high temperature; a runny nose and sore throat; a headache. Adults who are infected will usually have more severe flu-like symptoms but may not develop the characteristic “slapped-cheek” rash. Victoria's hub for health services and business. It can be more serious if an adult gets slapped cheek syndrome. Sometimes there is just a blotchy redness on the face. The 'slapped cheek rash' comes first, where the cheeks have a flushed appearance as though the child has been slapped. Please consult with your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for your child. It’s usually defined by a red rash on children’s cheeks. The incubation period for this illness is approximately 1 – 2 weeks. It spreads rapidly through schools as it is infectious before symptoms appear. However, some types of E.coli produce toxins (poisons) that can cause gastroenteritis (gastro). Approximately 60% of adults have natural immunity to parvovirus B19, having been exposed to it as children. This is found in the droplets in the coughs and sneezes of someone with the infection. Slapped cheek syndrome, also known as fifth disease, is caused by a virus called parvovirus B19. Pregnant women in contact with a child with Fifth disease should see their doctor for blood tests and monitoring of their pregnancy. Fifth disease mainly affects school and pre-school aged children, and not uncommonly causes outbreaks in schools. The most common clinical encounter with parvovirus B19 is as the causative agent of erythema infectiosum (fifth disease). Fifth disease is a viral illness that causes a rash (exanthem). Sometimes a more widespread faint rash appears on the body, arms and legs. Parvovirus infection is a common and highly contagious childhood ailment — sometimes called slapped-cheek disease because of the distinctive face rash that develops. With adults, slapped cheek syndrome starts with discomfort and a feeling of being ill. Later, there is pain and swelling of joints together with a red itchy rash. Symptoms may include: a high temperature of 38C or more Treatment. It is estimated that around 50% of young men and women have antibodies against B19V, determined via serology tests[1]. Slapped cheek syndrome in children and parvovirus B19 infection in adults is usually mild and the infection should clear up without treatment. When to seek urgent medical advice People who are in the risk groups listed below are advised to contact their doctor as soon as possible if they think they have developed a parvovirus B19 infection. The main symptom is a bright red rash on both cheeks, although adults don't always get the rash. It results from being infected with human parvovirus B19. Other symptoms, such as a fever and sore throat, are rare in adults. J Intern Med. Related Pages. Fifth disease is also called erythema infectiosum. Need to find a doctor in your local area? Paracetamol is useful to relieve your child’s aches and pains. Give your child the dose that is recommended on the packaging for their age and weight. Your child should see a doctor if they have any swollen joints or pain not relieved by paracetamol. Fifth disease is a viral illness caused by human parvovirus B19. In people with slapped-cheek rash from fifth disease, the degree of redness can vary and can often be subtle. Slapped cheek disease is characterised by bright red cheeks, a cold-like illness and, sometimes, an itchy rash on the torso and limbs. Rash. During this pandemic and as we head into the annual influenza season... A mild fever up to 39?C can actually help the immune system to get rid of an infection... By law, parents or guardians must provide an Immunisation History Statement when enrolling children in any childcare service, kindergarten or primary school in Victoria... Mycobacterium chimaera is a type of bacterium known as a non-tuberculous mycobacterium (NTM). Measles can cause serious and sometimes fatal complications, including pneumonia and brain inflammation... Immunisation is the best protection against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox)... Melissa shares her story of how her baby caught chickenpox at 5 weeks old... Meningitis can cause death and requires urgent medical attention... Middle ear infections often happen during or after a child has a cold... Mumps is a viral illness that causes fever and swollen salivary glands, and a swollen face... Roseola is a mild viral infection with associated fever and rash that affects babies and young children... Rubella is a mild illness for most people, but very dangerous for pregnant women and their babies... Children with slapped cheek do not need to be kept home from school or day care, as cases are only contagious before the onset of the rash... Group B streptococcal bacteria can cause a wide range of illnesses in susceptible people including newborns, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or cancer. Please note that we cannot answer personal medical queries. Beat the Bite is a Victorian government health campaign to highlight awareness of the risk of mosquito-borne diseases in Victoria. Fifth disease is much more common in children, but it can happen in adults. Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. 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