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What is the Fifth disease?

Fifth disease is a viral disease that results in reddish rashes on the arms, face, and legs. It is quite common and mild in most people, especially in children, but it can be serious for pregnant women or anyone else with a weakened immune system. In general, doctors advise patients to wait for symptoms of the disease to appear, as there is no medication that will shorten the development of this condition. However, if the person suffers from a weak immune system, it is likely that the specialist will monitor the patient closely to see the appearance of symptoms at an early time and be able to control it.


But … What is this disease about?

What causes the disease “Fifth disease” is parvovirus B19, this virus tends to spread through saliva and respiratory secretions, therefore, it is in the air. It occurs most commonly in winter, spring, and early summer, although the truth can spread at any time of the year and in people of any age. There are cases in adults who have already created antibodies to this disease since they have been exposed as children. This disease can be serious in adults, as the symptoms are usually more severe. For example, if a pregnant woman contracts this disease, it can put the baby’s life at risk and cause life-threatening anemia.

Symptoms include:

● Headache
● Fatigue
● Sore throat
● Fevers
● Nausea
● Nasal congestion


Symptoms can appear within 4 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Later, skin problems develop, which are red rashes that appear first on the cheeks, then on the arms, legs, even on the trunk of the body. These skin problems can last for weeks and once you have the rashes, it is usually no longer contagious. In some cases, it can cause joint pain in the wrists, ankles and knees. In many cases, no specific treatment is needed, only if the person has joint pain, then Tylenol is recommended as needed.

The duration of the body to fight the disease is 3 to 4 weeks but only in the first days it is contagious, after the skin problems appear it is no longer contagious. To prevent contagion, it is necessary to have a good diet so that the immune system is not weak and can fight the disease, in addition, you should drink plenty of fluids while you are sick. In adults and pregnant women, it is usually more serious, so it is highly recommended visiting the doctor for a more accurate diagnosis.

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