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What is fifth disease?

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Fifth disease, or erythema infectiosum, is a mildly to moderately contagious viral infection common among school-age children, particularly in the winter and spring.

Though it can resemble other childhood rashes, such as rubella or scarlet fever, fifth disease usually begins with the distinctive, sudden appearance of bright red cheeks that look as though the child has been slapped. The disease is rare in infants and adults.

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)

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on March 23, 2019

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)

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on March 23, 2019

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How did fifth disease get its name?

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