Fifth disease: Symptoms, Pictures & amp; treatment

Fifth disease (also known as "Slap disease") Count as German measles, mumps or scarlet fever to the classic childhood diseases. Vaccination does not exist, but usually the infection is in children without complications.

Rash with fifth disease all over.

The rash can occur with fifth disease all over.

© Andrew Kerr via Wikimedia Commons

Cause of the fifth disease is an infection with the parvovirus B19. Most children fall ill between five and 15 years, with often no or only slightly pronounced symptoms. Rarely leads to complications.

But: So safe is a fifth disease infection for children, so dangerous disease for pregnant women may be because there is Risk to the unborn child. The infection can be transmitted to the baby, sometimes with serious consequences. In the first months of pregnancy Fifth disease often lead to a miscarriage; a fifth disease infection 10 to 22 weeks of pregnancy can have serious health consequences for the unborn child.

How contagious is fifth disease?

Fifth disease is transmitted by droplet infection and are generally, but as little contagious. The pathogen can also survive for some time on the skin and objects, and are Veiter spread that way. since the Rash only a quarter of those affected occurs, there is every few years "epidemics" in kindergartens and schools. Because contagious are fifth disease, even if they are not visible.

Typical butterfly rash in fifth disease.

Typical butterfly rash in fifth disease.

© Dr. Rautenstrauch

The incubation period (time between infection and the outbreak) is between 4 and 21 days. The risk of infection is between 4 and 10 days after infection is greatest. Against fifth disease, no vaccine, who had the disease once is a lifetime immune to them.
Symptoms of fifth disease

After two to three days can flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, mild fever and chills occur.

➤ Only after about a week it comes to the typical fifth disease skin rash. This spreads butterfly shape of the face. In most cases, first form on the cheeks and nose large red spots, while the mouth area is often left out.

Fifth disease: mouth area usually not affected.

The mouth area is not affected mostly.

© Dr. Rautenstrauch

The rash may extend over arms, legs and buttocks spread. The spots are slightly raised and run together like a garland.

It can take up to seven weeks, until the rash repeatedly flares finally recedes.

➤ Light itching is possible.
Treatment for fifth disease

Drug treatment of viral infection, there is not, it can be alleviated as merely the symptoms:

● Against the fever help Wadenwickel, antipyretic drugs (paracetamol). Also, rest and care are sufficiently important.

● Avoid especially that your on Fifth disease diseased child has contact with pregnant women to prevent transmission.

● As the skin may be scaly and rough after recovering from illness, healing with an extra should be supported to care.

● against any itching can help cold compresses or a cooling ointment.


In babies and children rashes are not uncommon. But what does the young, exactly? We give a little help.

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