Children developing rashes is a common complaint among parents. A lot depends on the root causes and the intensity of a rash. While some rashes go away as soon as they appear, there are others that we may have to watch out for. Some of these could be viral infections.
Fifth disease, also known popularly as ‘slapped cheek disease’ is one such illness that spreads via viruses. If you are clueless about this condition, it is important to know all the information pertaining to the same. This will help you get prompt treatment after an early diagnosis.
Fifth Disease Or Slapped Cheek Disease:
Fifth disease or slapped cheek disease is caused due to the spread of a virus known as parovirus B9.
- The disease is also referred to as erythema infectiosum in medical terms.
- Most times, the symptoms in adults are not traced at the onset of the disease.
- The infection is likely to spread during the months of winter and spring.
- This rash is very prominent between the age group of 5 and 15.
- Children with fifth disease develop a typical red rash on the face across the cheek, as though they have been slapped.
- This rash later tends to spread to other parts of the body.
[ Read: Psoriasis In Children ]
Signs And Symptoms Of Fifth Disease In Children:
Below are some signs that you can watch out for to trace the symptoms of fifth disease:
- Starting of a mild fever
- Mild flu like symptoms
- Frequent stuffy or runny nose
- Appearance of a bright red rash after a few days of fever and cold
- Spreading of rash into red blotches from face to arms, trunk and legs
- No rash on soles and palms while spreading elsewhere
- Appearance of a lacy net like patch as rash subsides
- Itchy rash complained by older children above 10 years
- Relapse of the rash after being exposed to sun rays, light and stress
- Swollen glands
- Blood shot eyes
- Swelling or pain in wrists, ankles and knees
[ Read: Blood Infection In Children ]
Diagnosis And Treatment:
As soon as you see any of the above mentioned symptoms, it is important you report the same to your child’s pediatrician. The doctor will then do the required blood tests to confirm the presence of parovirus B19 to cause fifth disease.
1. There is no confirmed treatment medically in the form of antibiotics, as they are mostly ineffective on viral infections.
2. There is no vaccine developed yet for the disease as it is very difficult to isolate the incubation period away from the symptoms.
3. As the signs develop only after infection subsides there is no telling if the child is actually infected till such time.
4. The condition is said to go away on its own after a proper home based care in the form of diet, hygiene and rest.
5. The doctor may recommend a dose of acetaminophen for fever and joint pains, if present.
[ Read: Scarlet Fever In Children ]
Duration Of Fifth Disease:
Usually, the infection lasts anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks:
- Older children may complain of ongoing symptoms of joint pain and swelling even months after the rash subsides.
- These symptoms will eventually go away on their own.
- It is important to discuss at length with the doctor if the symptoms persist for a longer period of time, from months to a year.
[ Read: Headache In Children ]
10 Complications Of Fifth Disease In Kids:
Here are the probable complication of slapped cheek disease in children:
1. A child suffering from fifth disease is said to be contagious during the incubation period. This is the time when virus develops within the body before showing the symptoms of a rash.
2. A rash is symptomatic after body’s immune system fights with the infection. Hence there is no risk of the disease to spread post the occurrence of the symptom.
3. Parovirus B19 is said to usually spread via nose, mouth, droplets of cough and sneezes from an infected child.
4. Once a child develops the rash it means the infection has subsided. He or she can carry on with regular work without any threat of infecting others.
5. It is said that a child who develops B19 infection once will not develop the same again as the immune system is formed against the infection.
6. Usually a healthy child will overcome the disease with a robust immune system. The same can’t be said of children with lower or weakened immune make up.
7. Little ones who are already down with conditions like leukemia, AIDS, sickle cell anemia and hemolytic anemia are prone to frequently fall ill when infected with B19 virus.
8. The parovirus can sometimes completely stop or shut down the production of Red Blood Cells (RBC), causing severe anemia.
9. Parovirus B19 that spreads from pregnant mother to a growing fetus can cause severe complications. Such as acute anemia that poses threat to the life of the growing baby.
10. Identifying the signs early during the onset becomes very vital in both the expecting women as well as her child.
[ Read: Sickle Cell Anemia In Children ]
Preventive Measures To Be Taken At Home:
Children are more prone to viral infections because of hygiene factors. Following good habits every day at home should rule out the possibility of fifth disease infecting your child:
- Frequent hand washing with a strong soap after coming back from play.
- Keeping the house and surroundings clean and free of germs and dust.
- Ensuring healthy habits in an everyday regime.
- Educating your child about the details of fifth disease, if he is old enough to understand.
- Making sure that your child does not venture out before the onset of symptoms while suffering from signs like fever and cold.
- Observe your child’s everyday pattern with respect to his hygiene and play habits.
[ Read: Healthy Habits For Kids ]
Fifth disease can be tackled and managed in normal scenarios. Talk to your child’s pediatrician to understand more about the infection and possible measures available. Do not neglect the mild signs like cold and fever as they are possibly the pointers to demarcate the onset of B19 viral attack.
Paying attention to every little detail and reporting the same to the doctor should help to an extent. Following the doctor’s instructions will enable your child cope with the condition better.
Readers do share your views and experiences on the same in the comment section below.
- 6 Effective Home Remedies To Treat Cough In Children
- 16 Serious Symptoms Of Scarlet Fever In Children
- Hirschsprung Disease In Children – Everything You Need To Know
- Dehydration In Children – 9 Causes & 9 Treatments You Should Be Aware Of
- Diarrhea In Children-9 Symptoms & 7 Treatments You Should Be Aware Of
Latest posts by Deepa Balasubramanian (see all)
- 6 Useful Tips To Store Formula Milk For Your Baby - June 30, 2017
- Cervical Mucus And Ovulation - Everything You Need To Know - January 9, 2015
- Can You Ovulate More Than Once Per Month Or Cycle? - December 31, 2014