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Fifth Disease and Pregnancy

Preventing Fifth Disease During Pregnancy

There is no vaccine or medicine that can prevent fifth disease. Frequent handwashing is recommended as a practical and typically effective method of reducing the spread of the parvovirus. Excluding people with fifth disease from work, childcare centers, schools, or other settings is not likely to prevent the spread of parvovirus B19, since these people are contagious before they develop the characteristic rash.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that pregnant women routinely be excluded from a workplace where a fifth disease outbreak is occurring because of the problems noted previously. The decision to stay away from a workplace where there are cases of fifth disease is a personal decision for a woman to make after discussions with her family, physician, and employer.

Blood Tests

A blood test for parvovirus B19 may show that you:
  • Are immune to parvovirus B19 and have no sign of recent infection
  • Are not immune and have not yet been infected
  • Have had a recent infection.
If you are immune, then you have nothing further to be concerned about. If you are not immune and have not yet been infected, you may wish to avoid further exposure during your pregnancy. If you have had a recent infection, you should discuss with your healthcare provider what to do to monitor your pregnancy.
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