Why is it Called Fifth Disease?

Fifth disease is one of those contagious childhood illnesses that seem to plague our kids between the ages of 2 and 10. They stop by a few times a year, usually bringing a fever and respiratory symptoms along.  Some, like fifth disease, include a rash too.

In fact, fifth disease is so named because it was the fifth childhood disease characterized by a rash to be identified.  Measles was first, followed by scarlet fever, rubella, and chicken pox.  Fifth is the only one still identified by its number, though the official viral name is human parvovirus B19.  Great cocktail party trivia, huh?

It is sometimes called “slapped-cheek disease” because of the typical rash on the face. You spread it by coughing and sneezing.  It is generally mild, and appears with fever and respiratory symptoms which are followed by the rash — first on the face, then spreading to the rest of the body.  Symptoms, including the rash, usually go away in      5 – 7 days and don’t require treatment other than comfort measures.

For all the details, check out this complete article on Web MD.

Email This Post Email This Post

Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.

Warning: Illegal string offset 'echo' in /home/mamasonc/public_html/mama/wp-content/themes/hybrid/library/extensions/custom-field-series.php on line 157

2 responses to “Why is it Called Fifth Disease?”

  1. Paige

    Such interesting information! I actually had fifth desiese in jr high school. I remember my doctor telling me to stay away from pregnant women. Is that true?

  2. Rachel Zahn

    It is. Parvovirus can cause birth defects … especially if mom contracts it the 1st trimester of pregnancy. Fortunately, most women have already been exposed to this common virus by the time they’re of childbearing age. xo — Mama R

Leave a Reply




With One or Both of Us

Go to AskDrMama.com & AskMamaEllen.com for the scoop!

Phone • Internet • Your Home or Group

Watch This!

Teach your kids to step in and step up when they see a classmate being teased. Show them how to respond and tell them what to say. Let's try to make our world a little kinder and a little warmer. Please?

What You Said

  • FirstBarry: I have noticed you don’t monetize your website, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn...
  • Rebecca Benham: My son woke up with bumps on his stomach help
  • Chelie Belie: AND up the street there’s a psychotic IT that is awe-struck by me! Walks by my property carrying...
  • Chelie Belie: I live next door to Ned Flanders–how would you like that??
  • Maggie sullivan: I have a neighbor, will holler and wave at me if i am near porch but if i try to sit in the yard, or...
  • Ellen Schrier: Thank you so much! Please come back often!
  • Ellen Schrier: Hi Lisa, Sorry for the very late response. We are sorry to hear about your daughter and are sure that...
  • Lisa jacobs: My daughter was in a car accident and now has a concussion. She is plan to go to Mexico City which is a...
  • RF: Well my baby had her first two bottom theeth at 10 months old and i tought so far so good and then now at 11...
  • ofertas cine: That is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info… Thanks...

Just so you know

The Mama ButtonThe information provided by MamasOnCall is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, but is for information purposes only. You assume full responsibility for the health and well-being of your family. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical or psychiatric condition.