Medical Video: Pediatrics & Child Health Care : Viral Skin Rashes in Babies
Not many ordinary people know about the existence of the fifth disease that often affects children. What are the causes and what are the symptoms?
What is the fifth disease?
The fifth disease (Eritema infectiosum) is a mild viral infection that most often attacks children. It is called the fifth disease because it is the fifth disease in the list of historical classifications of common skin inflammation in children (the other four are measles, rubella, chicken pox, and roseola).
The fifth disease is caused by Parvovirus B19. This virus tends to spread through the air through splashes of saliva and phlegm when the child sneezes or coughs. Symptoms include redness of the cheeks, arms and legs. This disease is more common in children between the ages of 5 and 14 years. The fifth disease can settle in the body within 4 to 14 days after the body is infected with parvovirus B19. This disease is the cause of upper respiratory infections in children.
Although it generally attacks children, this disease sometimes approaches adults and can be very dangerous for pregnant women.
Signs and symptoms of the fifth disease
The following are the most common symptoms of the fifth disease:
- About 2 to 3 weeks after exposure to the virus, the rash can appear on the face. This redness makes the cheeks look like they have been slapped, and the area around the mouth looks pale. These signs are usually only seen in children.
- Reddish spots as if forming a line can appear on the arm and can spread to the chest, back and thighs. Redness can fade but can worsen if the person is exposed to hot steam, such as when taking a hot shower or sunbathing. This redness can last for several weeks. For some people, a red rash may not appear.
- Adults may only experience joint pain. Usually on the wrists, ankles and knees.
The fifth disease is not severe for most children. However, the symptoms can look like a serious rash. Therefore, consult further with your doctor to get an official diagnosis. Also tell the doctor what medications your child is using, both prescription and non-prescription.
What are the treatment options for the fifth disease?
There is no specific treatment for acute fifth disease. Treatment is only to reduce symptoms. For example, if your child has a fever or pain, you can give acetaminophen. If new symptoms appear, the child can feel more tired, or increase his body temperature. Contact your doctor for further treatment.
Children who suffer from an acute rash are highly contagious when they experience symptoms that resemble a cold, usually before it rains. However, when a rash appears, the child is no longer contagious. However, as a guideline, if your child has a rash or fever, keep him away from other children until the doctor determines what disease he is experiencing. As a precautionary measure, wait until your child is free of fever and feels better before letting him play with another child.
Keeping sick children away from pregnant women is another important precautionary measure, especially during the first three months of pregnancy. This is important because the virus can cause serious problems or even fetal death if the pregnant woman is infected.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.