How Is Fifth Disease Diagnosed?
In most cases, fifth disease is diagnosed based on the appearance of typical symptoms.
If a pregnant woman has been exposed to fifth disease, they may be given a blood test to determine whether they have fifth disease in the past and is, therefore, immune.
If they contract 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.
What Are the Treatments for Fifth Disease?
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.