Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fifth disease..is it serious!!

A mild viral disease occurring mainly in early childhood caused by parvovirus B19(also called erythema infectiosum) characterized by fever, a rosy-red rash on the cheeks that often spreads to the trunk and limbs, and usually arthritis and malaise.

Is it contagious?
Yes. A person infected with parvovirus B19 is contagious during the early part of the illness, before the rash appears.
Parvovirus B19 has been found in the respiratory secretions (e.g., saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus) of infected persons before the onset of rash, when they appear to "just have a cold." The virus is probably spread from person to person by direct contact with those secretions, such as sharing drinking cups or utensils.

Is it serious?
Fifth disease is usually a mild illness that resolves on its own among children and adults who are otherwise healthy. Joint pain and swelling in adults usually resolve without long-term disability.

Treatment of symptoms such as fever, pain, or itching is usually all that is needed for fifth disease. Adults with joint pain and swelling may need to rest, restrict their activities, and take medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve symptoms.

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