DR H.C.ROBINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR H.C.ROBINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fifth disease. Red rash on an infant's face and arms, known as "slapped cheek" or Fifth disease. Also called erythema infectiosum, this infectious disease caused by a parvovirus is the least well- known of all the common diseases of childhood. Fifth disease affects children between the ages of 2 to 14; outbreaks appear usually in the spring. Symptoms of a spreading red rash and a mild fever appear after an incubation period of between 4 to 14 days. Adults, who only rarely contract the disease, may suffer from joint pain and swelling. Treatment is minimal, consisting of bed rest, good hydration and paracetamol to reduce any fever.
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