Fifth Disease

Algoma Public Health

Fifth Disease

  • Facebook
  • Email


What is it?

  • A mild viral disease that causes a red rash.
  • Parvovirus B19 is recognized as the cause of fifth disease.
  • More common in children.
  • Can cause complications for the following persons – pregnant women, persons with sickle cell anemia, persons with weakened immune systems (e.g. cancer, AIDS)

 What are the symptoms?

  • Coughing, sneezing, slight or no fever
  • Very red cheeks (slapped-face appearance.)
  • Lace-like rash on the arms, legs and trunk.
  • Rash comes and goes for 1 to 3 weeks.
  • Exposure to sunlight or heat (e.g. bathing) brings out rash.
  • Adults may not have a rash but may have joint pains lasting days to months.

Related Documents



PDF En Français

Contact Us!


Sault Ste. Marie: 705-942-4646

Blind River: 705-356-2551

Elliot Lake: 705-848-2314

Wawa: 705-856-7208

 How quickly do symptoms develop?

  • Within 4 – 20 days after coming in contact with the virus.

 How is it spread?

  • Contact with respiratory secretions nose and throat discharge.
  • A pregnant woman can pass it to her unborn child.

 How long is it contagious?

  • Probably not contagious after rash develops.
  • Children with Fifth disease may continue to attend school/daycare if they do not have a fever and feel well enough to take part in activities..

 How is it treated?

  • No specific treatment.

 What can you do?

  • Exposed pregnant women or infected persons who could have complications should contact their doctor.
  • Do not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, face cloths and towels.
  • Wash your hands frequently.


Date of Creation: June 1, 2015

Last Modified: Feb 25, 2015