Fifth Disease Symptoms
One of the most common fifth disease symptoms is a rash on the face that resembles a slapped cheek. A few days before this characteristic rash appears, some people may have early symptoms that include low-grade fever, chills, body aches, and tiredness. Unlike a child's symptoms of fifth disease, adults with the illness may experience joint pain, swelling, or both.
When a person becomes infected with the virus that causes fifth disease (parvovirus B19), the virus begins to multiply within the body. Typically, after 4 to 14 days, fifth disease symptoms can begin; however, it may take as long as 20 days for symptoms to appear. The period between becoming infected and the start of symptoms is called the incubation period.
A few days before the characteristic rash associated with the illness appears, some people may have early signs and symptoms of fifth disease that include:
- Low-grade fever
- Body aches
- Cold-like symptoms.
Common fifth disease symptoms are usually mild and can include:
- "Slapped cheek" rash on the face (see Fifth Disease Pictures)
- Lacy, red rash on the trunk, arms, hands, and legs.
Occasionally, the rash may itch. It typically goes away in 7 to 10 days, but can return off and on for several weeks, especially after:
- Change in temperature
- Exposure to sunlight.