For those who don’t understand what parvovirus infection is all about, it’s a childhood disease which is sometimes called slapped-cheek disease because of the distinctive face rash that develop. A parvovirus infection has been known throughout history as fifth disease because it was one of the five common childhood illnesses characterized by a rash.

Sometimes in some children, parvovirus infection is mild and will requires little treatment. While in some adults, the infection can be serious. A parvovirus infection in some pregnant women can also lead to a serious health issues for the fetus. A parvovirus infection can also be more serious for people with some kinds of anemia or who have a bad immune system.


It is the human parvovirus B19 that causes parvovirus infection. Also note that this is different from the parvovirus seen in dogs and cats, meaning that you can’t get the infection from a pet or vice versa.

The human parvovirus infection can very among primary school-age children during an outbreaks within the winter and spring months, however, anyone can become ill with it anytime of the year. This illness spreads from person to person, just like a cold, often through respiratory secretions and by hand-to-hand contact.

A parvovirus infection can sometimes spread through blood. And also a pregnant woman who is infected can pass the virus to her unborn baby.


Sometimes most people with this parvovirus infection have no signs or symptoms. But once symptoms appears, it will vary greatly depending on the age of the person who has the disease.

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A Parvovirus Symptoms In Children

An early signs and symptoms of parvovirus infection in children may include:

  • Having fever
  • A stomach upset
  • Having headache
  • Having a runny nose

After several days the early symptoms appears, a distinctive bright red facial rash will appear which usually happens on both cheeks. Sometimes it may extend to the arms, trunk, thighs and buttocks that is where the rash has a pink, lacy, slightly raised appearance. And again, the rash may be itchy, especially on the soles of the feet.

But generally, the rash may occurs near the end of the illness. Some people may mistake the rash for other viral rashes or a medicine-related rash. However, the rash may come and go for up to three weeks, and may become more visible once a child is exposed to extreme temperatures or spends time in the sun.

The Parvovirus Symptoms In Adults

Most adults don’t usually develop the slapped-cheek rash. But the most common and prominent symptom of parvovirus infection in adults is joint soreness, which last for days to weeks. The joints that are most commonly affected are the hands, wrists, knees and ankles.


Note that for a non-complicated parvovirus infection, a self-care treatment at home is generally very sufficient. But the people with severe anemia may need to be hospitalized and then receive blood transfusions. While people with weakened immune systems may receive antibodies, through immune globulin injections, to treat the infection. The self-care treatment is aimed primarily at relieving signs and symptoms and easing any discomfort. But ensure you or your child gets plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids.


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