Alternate Names : Erythema Infectiosum
What can be done to prevent the infection?
Fifth disease is a very contagious viral disease. There is no vaccine or other way to
prevent it. General precautions include washing the hands thoroughly and avoiding the
respiratory secretions of others.
What are the long-term effects of the infection?
There are few long-term effects in most individuals affected with fifth
disease. It is a benign viral infection. Complete recovery is expected.
What are the risks to others?
Fifth disease is passed from person to person by respiratory secretions spread
by coughing, sneezing, or intimate contact. In most individuals, the illness
is mild and causes no significant problems. However, people with anemia or immune system disorders
at risk for an episode of acute, severe anemia if they have fifth disease.
If fifth disease is passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus, the baby may
develop severe anemia,
shortage of red blood cells, and widespread swelling. This condition, known as
hydrops fetalis, can cause stillbirth.