What Is Fifth Disease ?

Health |

Fifth disease is a viral childhood illness. It is so named because it is placed among the five common infections — along with measles, German measles (rubella), roseola and scarlet fever — that cause a rash and fever, and that are contagious.

Children between the ages of 5 and 14 are most likely to get fifth disease, and outbreaks occur most often in the spring and summer.

Once the culprit virus has taken hold, the rash may take up to 14 days to appear. Meanwhile, your child, who may have the symptoms of a cold, can spread the disease to other children through the air.

When is your child contagious? Your child is contagious before the rash is present, but not while he or she has the rash or after the rash disappears.