Fifth Disease and How It Affects Children
Skin complaint which is viral in nature can be very contagious. Fifth disease or sometimes called “slapped cheek” is very common in children. It is characterized by redness on the face that makes the child appear to have a slapped cheek. This is caused by human parvovirus B19. Affected children spread the disease by coughing and sneezing.
Some people who are affected with this disease such as those with particular blood disorders or weak immune systems most probably able to share out the diseases for a longer period of time.
Early indications are like those of runny nose, sore throat, and headache. Indications might be so mild that you will fail to notice them at all. The bright red rash on the face comes several days later followed by lacelike rashes over the rest of the body. During that time it may appear to worsen however the rashes fade within 2 to 5 days. As it is contagious, fifth disease is spread by respiratory secretions.
In some adults and older teens, an attack of this skin complaint may be followed by joint swelling or pain, mostly found in the hands, wrists, knees or ankles. If the woman is pregnant and has come in contact with a person who has parvovirus is at risk of harming the unborn child. Consultation with a physician is imperative.
There are no vaccines for this type of skin illness and no real way to prevent spreading the virus. People can treat this illness at home. By resting and taking in fluids and pain relievers. This disease normally fades away after a few weeks. This is no fear for normally healthy children who are affected because there is hardly any complication. Normally the reappearance of a rash does not mean the condition has gotten severe or worse. This happens because of exposure to sunlight, warm temperatures or the patient is under a lot of stress. Take not that antibiotics are not the right prescription. This is viral and not caused by bacteria.
But a good idea to help prevent the spread of many infections is to practice proper hygiene. Start with washing the hands frequently. Remember the incubation period for fifth disease ranges from 4 to 28 days with the average being 16 to 17 days. Children are the most vulnerable when it comes to viral infection. Practicing good sanitation will be helpful. People should take preventive measures. Those hospitalized should be isolated from others.
You might wonder why it is called fifth disease. This term started in 1905. A French physician during that time designated numbers to the common childhood diseases. They were children’s diseases that were usually characterized by rashes. For instance measles was called “first disease”, scarlet fever was “second disease”, rubella was “third disease” and so on and so forth as they come necessarily in that order.
Subsequently the numerical names as the diseases evolved and were identified were replaced with the exception of fifth disease, as it is still named today.