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Fifth disease: what it is, what its symptoms are and how to prevent it

Fifth disease: what it is, what its symptoms are and how to prevent it

What is the fifth disease and how do we recognise it? It is often just a flu, but in some cases it is better not underestimate it.

The fifth disease belongs to a group of diseases which also includes measles, chicken pox, rubella and whooping cough. It is the less known among these illnesses.

It often appears in children, affecting their face, especially the cheeks, with some recognizable symptoms. Let’s find out more about it.

What is the fifth disease?

As mentioned, this illness is common among children. In this case, it appears especially in winter or in spring, ut it can also occur during the rest of the year.

The fifth disease in adults, however, can be more aggressive and can also lead to some complications children do not experience. Moreover, there are also cases of fifth disease during pregnancy, which can develop complications both for the mother and the child.

Let’s see which are the main symptoms of this disease and how to recognize it.

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Fifth disease symptoms

Here is a list of the main symptoms to recognize this disease. As mentioned, some of these may be more obvious or intensify in adults:

very red and warm cheeks.

• 1 cm sized patches on legs, arms and torso. They are round, with a clear centre and reddish edges.

• High fever and weakness, even 5-10 days before redness and patches appear.

• Headaches, joints aches, runny nose.

How to prevent the fifth disease

There are no specific vaccines to cure it. To avoid contracting it, choose to stay away from people suffering from it, stay away from humid and too crowded places, and take care of your personal hygiene. Wash your hands often with a proper detergent or a disinfectant, especially after being in public places.

In any case, if you think you have contracted the disease, the first thing to do is to immediately contact your doctor.

How to treat fifth disease: incubation period and medications

As said, there are no specific treatments for this disease. Therefore, the only remedy is… patience! Usually the incubation period lasts from 7 to 10 days, but in some cases it can last up to 2-3 weeks. However, the disease disappears once the body develops specific antibodies, so you will not contract it again.

Therefore, if you or your children contract the fifth disease, the important thing is to stay warm, at home, away from public places, in order to avoid spreading it and focusingon your full recovery.


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