​Fifth Disease (Parvovirus Infection)


Also known as a ‘slapped-cheek disease’, fifth disease or parvovirus infection is a very common and contagious illness that might affect your toddler. It is known as slapped-face because of the distinctive face rash that develops during the disease. People call it ‘fifth disease’ because in past days, this was one of the very common five infections that a child contracted in the initial years after birth.

Usually, this disease can be easily treated and does not cause many complications. This disease appears in children between 5 to 15 years or age. After the rashes appear on the face, they usually progress to hands, feet, legs and trunk. Outbreaks of fifth disease usually happen in late winter or early spring.


There are no signs and symptoms in the early stages of this disease. It takes around twenty days for symptoms to show. When they do, the following may indicate an onset of this infection:

  • Headaches

  • Runny stomach

  • Fever

  • Sore throat

Later, red patches appear on the skin. In few days, the redness spreads and blotches start to appear on various parts of the body. Usually, no rashes appear on palms and heels of your child’s feet. They may, however, be a little itchy.

The rashes may go away in three weeks, and generally become much red-der and pink-ish in appearance when your child is exposed to extreme heat or cold.

Although the disease is not deadly, it is always best to consult a medical specialist to diagnose the infection and rule out other possibilities. To confirm this infection, you can consult a doctor working with the Children’s Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital for an accurate diagnosis and timely treatment.

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Usually all children are immune to this disease as they’ve had such infections previously as well. The diagnosis is made clinically by routine examination by the doctor.

Self-care is ample for a non-complicated infection. Children with severe anaemia may need to be hospitalized and receive blood transfusions as treatment. If your child has a weak immune system, he or she may have to receive antibodies through immune globulin injections, to treat the infection.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
 
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
 
The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.




The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.