A mild viral disease occurring mainly in early childhood, characterized by fever, a rosy-red rash on the cheeks that often spreads to the trunk and limbs, and usually arthritis and malaise.
A usually mild disease, primarily of children, that is caused by a parvovirus and is characterized by fever, a prominent, often bright red rash on the cheeks that may spread to the trunk and limbs, and swollen, painful joints.
Historically classified as the fifth of the classical childhood skin rashes or exanthems, after measles, scarlet fever, rubella, and Dukes' disease.
The Latin name for fifth disease is erythema infectiosum, meaning infectious redness.
The virus that causes fifth disease lives in the nose, mouth, and throat of an infected person; therefore, the virus can be spread through the air by coughing and sneezing.
Studies show that although 40 percent to 60 percent of adults worldwide have laboratory evidence of a past parvovirus B19 infection, most of these adults cannot remember having had symptoms of fifth disease.
Other symptoms that sometimes occur with fifth disease include swollen glands, red eyes, and diarrhea.
In older teens and adults, fifth disease may be followed by joint swelling or pain in the hands, wrists, knees, and ankles, lasting from a few months to several years.