Fifth disease is a viral illness caused by human parvovirus B Erythema infectiosum and slapped cheek syndrome are other names for fifth disease. Health care professionals first described fifth disease in and named the illness fifth disease because of its fifth position in the numerical classification of six childhood illnesses associated with rashes (exanthems).
Fifth Disease is not just restricted to children, although it's more common for children to be infected with fifth disease, fifth disease in adults is not so uncommon and can contract the virus too especially if another member of the household currently has the disease.
Fifth disease, or erythema infectiosum, is a mildly to moderately contagious viral infection common among school-age children, particularly in the winter and spring. Fifth disease is a mild illness that occurs most commonly in children. It is caused by parvovirus B About 50 percent of adults have already had fifth disease as children or adolescents, and therefore are immune to the parvovirus. If an adult is not immune, he or she can become infected with fifth disease.
Like other childhood rashes, the effects of fifth disease can become more severe when an adult becomes infected. In addition to all of the other symptoms, adults often experience soreness in the joints, including the hands, wrists, knees and ankles [source: Mayo Clinic: Parvovirus].
Fifth disease is usually a mild illness that resolves on its own among children and adults who are otherwise healthy. Joint pain and swelling in adults also usually resolve without long-term disability. Anti-inflammation medication can help to resolve joint symptoms. Not all children with fifth disease develop the rash. Some will have a rash that lasts several weeks or changes with environmental triggers like those mentioned above. Both are normal. The.