Top symptoms include:
- Flulike symptoms
- Facial rash that spreads to trunk, arms, and legs
- Joint pain (in adults)
More common in children than adults and nicknamed "slapped cheek disease" because of the bright red rash that spreads across the cheeks, fifth disease is caused by a virus called the human parvovirus B19. Because it's a virus -- and not a bacteria -- fifth disease is best treated by rest, fluids, and pain relievers. People with this disease are contagious only during the initial flulike period, and the rash usually fades within about a week (although it may return with exposure to sunlight, heat, or stress).
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