If a pregnant woman has been exposed to fifth disease, she may be given a blood test to determine whether she had fifth disease in the past and is, therefore, immune.
If she contracts fifth disease, either an amniocentesis or a test called percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS) can be used to test for the virus in the fetus and determine the severity of fetal anemia, if it exists.
Generally, no treatment for fifth disease is necessary for otherwise healthy children and adults who get it. If the rash itches, an antihistamine can be used. For those with joint pain, especially in adults, anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as ibuprofen can be helpful.
Anyone who has sickle cell anemia, chronic anemia, or an impaired immune system can receive immunoglobulin by injection to fight off the virus. Some of these patients may also need transfusions of red blood cells.
SOURCES: American Academy of Pediatrics. 2003 Red Book Report on the Committee of Infectious Diseases (Amerian Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infections Diseases//Report of the Committee on Infections Diseases)