What causes slapped cheek disease?
A virus called erythrovirus or parvovirus B19 causes slapped cheek disease.
Author: Idan Ben-Barak
First answered: 22 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.9/5 Votes: 885
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Slapped cheek disease, or fifth disease, is a common childhood illness caused by an infection with a virus called erythrovirus, or parvovirus B19.
The symptoms of slapped cheek disease usually appear about four to 14 days after infection. One in five people infected with the virus have no symptoms at all and may not know they've been infected. Early symptoms of fifth disease resemble …
Children four to 10 years of age are most commonly affected by slapped cheek disease. However, the disease can also appear in older children, teenagers and adults.
Slapped cheek disease is usually diagnosed by its signs, especially the rash. If necessary, blood tests can be done to confirm a diagnosis.
Slapped cheek disease will clear up on its own within a few weeks as the virus is cleared from the body.
Bed rest, plenty of fluids and, if required, medication against fever or aching, can help relieve symptoms of slapped cheek disease if they're too troublesome.
Slapped cheek disease is very contagious, and many people the world over have been exposed to it.