Fifth Disease (Parvovirus B19)

What is it?

  • Commonly referred to as “Slapped Cheek Disease”
  • A mild illness caused by Parvovirus B19
  • It is common in daycare and school-aged children

Signs and Symptoms

  • In some children it begins with a slight fever
  • A bright red rash appears on cheeks, followed 1-4 days later by lace-like rash on arms, body and legs
  • At least 50% of adults have had Fifth Disease in childhood and will not get it again if exposed to a child who has it
  • Those adults who do get Fifth Disease may not get a rash but may have mild joint pain for about 2 weeks


  • Spreads through the air when an infected coughs or sneezes
  • Can be spread by hands or objects touched by an infected person


  • Mild illness, no treatment necessary

A child does not need to be excluded from daycare/school if they have Fifth Disease