Common Signs of Common School Ailments
Fifth Disease (Erythema Infectiosum)
This viral illness is caused by the human parvovirus B19. It often causes a characteristic bright red rash on the face. It is also sometimes referred to as "slapped cheek" because of this rash. It is fairly common in children. In fact, it received its name because it was fifth in a list of historical classifications of common skin rash illnesses in children. Approximately 50 percent of all adults had this infection as a child and won't get it again.
- Runny nose
Although this rash may last for several weeks, it usually goes away in 7 to 10 days. As the rash improves, it may have a lacy look to it. There is no vaccination currently available that can prevent this infection. It is usually most contagious 7 to 10 days before the rash appears. Once the rash appears, the person is no longer contagious. Try to keep the child away from pregnant women who have never had fifth disease, as it can cause problems during pregnancy.