The fifth disease (Human parvovirus).
The Fifth Disease, also called Erythema Infectiosum, is caused by a virus called Human Parvovirus B19. It is frequent through all the year but even more in spring.
The manifestations of this disease are: eruption, febricula and sometimes conjunctivitis and pharyngitis.
At the beginning of the disease the child has an eruption on the cheeks and he looks like a slapped child due to the intense facial erythema. Then it spreads to all the body mainly in the chest, gradually disappearing.
The duration of the whole process can vary between 7 to 30 days or more.
Many times the eruption can give an itching sensation but the skin does not desquamate.
The eruption often recidivates with exercise, the heat or a hot bath but this does not mean that it is a complication or that the transmission risk increases.
The incubation of the disease can last from 4 to 14 days.
The transmission period goes from 1 to 3 days before the appearance of the little spots to approximately 7 days after the beginning.
There is a supporting treatment: drinking a lot of liquid, using antithermics indicated by the pediatrician and resting at home to avoid transmission.
In the case of elder children there may be articular pain, cephalea, gastrointestinal malaise catarrh, etc.
This infection is serious during pregnancy because it can cause fetal anemia and hydrops in a transplacental way.
In patients with a background of chronic hemolytic anemia it can cause aplastic crisis due to the marked decrease in the life of the red globules of such persons.
There are also other infections of Parvovirus which partially present the mentioned characteristics, and which make the diagnosis more difficult.
The one in charge of defining the etiology of the exanthematic diseases (eruptive) and he is also the one who decides whether it necessary to request some kind of special study to confirm the cause or to look for complications.
The diagnosis of eruptive diseases is not only based on the lesions on the skin, but also based on other data such as personal background, vaccines, the physical examination of the patient, etc