Fifths disease is a viral infection which is caused by human parvovirus B19 and is also referred to as erythema infectiosum. This condition usually affects school going children in the age group of 5-14 years and the prevalence of this condition peaks during spring and winter. In North America, the condition is also referred to as Slapped Cheek Syndrome.
Estimates suggest that about 10% of all children and half the adults in the United States are immune to this condition and not likely to be reinfected. This condition acquired its name from the fact that it has been listed as the fifth most common cause of rash in childhood. This article provides information about the causes, symptoms and the treatment of fifths disease.
Fifths disease is a viral infection which spreads via droplets and is transmitted from one person to another through coughs and sneezes. Fifths disease can occur sporadically or can spread in the form of community level outbreaks. The incubation period for this disease is usually 21 days, though it may vary slightly from person to person.
Symptoms Of Fifths Disease
While in most cases fifths disease is associated with nonspecific and mild symptoms, a typical pattern observed in most cases,
- About 15-30% of the patients complain of low grade fever associated with soreness of the throat, generalized weakness and fatigue, muscle pain and headache. This may last for several days.
- From the seventh to the tenth day onwards, a typical facial rash may start appearing abruptly. This facial rash is bright red in color and it appears as if the child has been slapped on the face. This rash usually fades off within four to five days.
- Following this a light pink rash appears on the forearms and then gradually spreads on to the rest of the body. This also gradually fades away.
Natural Remedies For Fifths Disease
There are some simple home based treatment options for the management of the fifths disease at home. These simple treatment tips can help in the prompt management of the condition,
- Ensure that you drink plenty of fluids. Fluids help in detoxification of the system and hasten the recovery process. Ensure that you consume fresh fruit juices or boiled vegetable soup. These foods are loaded with energy and are relatively easier to digest and hence can help deal with the weakness, fatigue and muscle pain during the initial phase of the illness.
- Hand wash regimen is very important in the management of this disease condition. Ensure that the infected person washes his/her hands regularly and also disposes off the tissues in order to prevent the spread of the infection.
- Homeopathic remedies like Bryonia, Arsenic Alb and Natrum Mur are very helpful in the management of symptoms of fever and sore throat that may be associated with this condition.
- Don’t apply anything on the rash. Allow the rash to run its natural course as it will resolve by itself within a couple of weeks.