Fifth Disease

Fifth disease is a common childhood illness caused by a virus. It usually occurs in late winter and early spring. The most common symptom is a red rash that first appears on the cheeks and face and then a lacy rash which develops over the upper arms and legs. It is also called "slapped cheek" rash. The rash usually does not involve the skin around the mouth, eyelids, or chin. The rash may come and go for up to 5 weeks. It shows up more when the skin gets hot or irritated (for example from hot baths, exposure to sunlight, or when crying or exercising).

Your child does not need to stay home from school. This disease is not very contagious. It is usually not necessary to keep your child away from other children. No treatment is needed. It is recommended that children with fifth disease not be exposed to women who are pregnant.


Your child develops a fever, headache, vomiting, or the rash becomes itchy.