Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Fifth Element

So we were supposed to my parents over 4th of July but my girl seemed to be getting sick. Runny nose, headache, cough. It seemed to be minor, but not know if it would worsen and knowing that it's awful being far from home when your sick, we decided to stay home.
Going to the grocery and the office supply store was our biggest outing. We didn't go to the fireworks and I'm glad we didn't. Today I discovered that it's highly probable that my girl had developed Fifths Disease.

Symptoms flu-like runny nose, sore throat, headache. A rash develops several days later usually appearing on the face, first looking like sunburn or slapped cheeks, possibly spreading to the trunk area and developing a lacy type pattern. As a rule, it is contagious before the rash develops. The rash worsens with heat, exercise and stress.

Fifth disease (also called erythema infectiosum) is caused by parvovirus B19. A human virus, parvovirus B19 is not the same parvovirus that veterinarians may be concerned about in pets, especially dogs, and it cannot be passed from humans to animals or vice versa. (From

Treatment includes pain reliever, rest and fluids.

My child also has a congested cough which I didn't find in the list of symptoms in my research. I don't know if it's related or not, but it has, at times, been severe, causing her to throw up.

Thankfully, she doesn't seem all that sick--except for that awful cough.

I've been surprised at how many I've spoken with have never heard of Fifths Disease. In fact, I hadn't heard of it until about 6 years ago when I was pregnant with my girl. I just spoke with a good friend today who has 6 (count 'em!) kids and had never heard of Fifths.

Spread the word and maybe...
You won't have to "take the fifth". ;)


Carrie said...

Oh, dear - I have heard of it, but only because I had to take an 'infectious diseases' class when I worked at a daycare - that & hand, foot & mouth disease scare me! :) Thanks for the info! :)

Dapoppins said...

I have heard if that distinctive hand print rash, believe it or not. I guess this used to be fairly common.

The Dreaming Bear said...

Whoa...good information...I've not heard of this either. Hope your kiddo is feeling better. Can't remember how I found your blog, but lovin' it!

ScrappyGypsy said...

Hope your girl is feeling better! My best friend had two nieces come down with that a couple years ago...and seriously, they did looked like they had been slapped! Hope recovery is quick, and everyone is fine very soon! Hey, email me when you are coming to Savannah again, maybe we can meet for lunch!

Julie said...

Oh, I've heard of it. If I remember correctly 2 of my 4 have had it (along with hand foot and mouth and Roseola) !