Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Understanding Fifth Disease -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Fifth Disease?

The symptoms of fifth disease include:

  • Low-grade fever.
  • Bright red cheeks.
  • A flat or raised red rash, usually on the arms and legs, which lasts from two to 39 days and may itch. The rash fades from the center of red areas toward the edges, giving it a lacy appearance. The rash can recur with exercise, warm baths, rubbing the skin, or emotional upset.
  • Less commonly, headache, sore throat, and joint pain.

Not all children with fifth disease develop the rash. Conversely, parents of some children may become concerned if the rash lasts several weeks or fluctuates with environmental triggers like the ones mentioned above. Both are normal.

Understanding Fifth Disease

Find out more about fifth disease:

Basics

Symptoms

Diagnosis and Treatment

Prevention

 

The following symptoms are more frequent and more severe in adults with parvovirus B19 infections, and they generally precede the rash, which often does not occur in adults, by seven to 10 days:

Most fetuses are unaffected when their mothers contract the virus, and it has not been proven to cause birth defects. However, if a fetus becomes infected, the virus can disrupt the fetus's ability to produce red blood cells, leading to a dangerous form of anemia, heart failure, and sometimes miscarriage or stillbirth. A woman who contracts the virus while pregnant has about a 10% chance of miscarriage.

Call Your Doctor About Fifth Disease if:

  • Your child has sickle cell anemia, any other chronic anemia, or an impaired immune system and has been exposed to fifth disease or is exhibiting symptoms
  • You are pregnant, you do not know whether you are immune to parvovirus B19 (or know that you are not immune), and you come into contact with anyone who has an infection with parvovirus B19
  • The rash becomes purple, painful, blistered, or lasts longer than five weeks.
  • Your infected child looks or acts very ill

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on March 01, 2015

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
jennifer aniston
Slideshow
 
Measles virus
Article
sick child
Slideshow
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool