What is slapped cheek syndrome?

Slapped cheek syndrome, also called fifth disease or erythema infectiosum, is a mild infectious condition that occurs mostly in children. It is named for its distinctive facial rash, which resembles slapped cheeks. Slapped cheek syndrome is caused by an infection with parvovirus B19.

Slapped cheek syndrome is usually mild, accompanied by fatigue or cold-like symptoms for a few days, followed by a rash on the cheeks, arms, legs and trunk. The infection is contagious in the early stages of the illness before the rash is present. Many people infected with parvovirus B19 will not experience any symptoms.

Although the infection typically occurs in children, adults who have never been infected with parvovirus B19 are susceptible. Symptoms in adults are similar to those in children, but adults may also have swelling or pain in the joints.

Slapped cheek syndrome can usually be diagnosed by your physician based on the characteristic rash. A blood test is available that can confirm the diagnosis. There is no specific treatment for slapped cheek syndrome, but over-the-counter medications can be taken to reduce the symptoms of fever or pain. There is no vaccine for slapped cheek syndrome, but you can help prevent its spread by taking basic precautions, such as frequent hand washing.

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for slapped cheek syndrome but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.Although slapped cheek syndrome is a mild condition, it is important to rule out other similar and potentially more serious conditions. Contact your health care provider if you or your child has symptoms of slap cheek syndrome.

Exposure to slapped cheek syndrome can also be dangerous for pregnant women.Seek prompt medical care if you are pregnant and think you have been exposedto slapped cheek syndrome.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of slapped cheek syndrome?

Symptoms of slapped cheek syndrome may include fatigue, fever, or joint pain for three to five days, followed in most people by a distinct rash on the cheeks and sometimes the arms, legs or trunk. More rarely, anemia can be associated with slapped cheek syndrome, especially in individuals with other conditions such as si... Read more about slapped cheek syndromesymptoms

CAUSES

What causes slapped cheek syndrome?

Slapped cheek syndrome is caused by an infection with parvovirus B19. This virus is contagious and passed from person to person by saliva or mucus. Parvovirus B19 infects only humans, although a different disease with a similar name affects animals. Slapped cheek syndrome is most common in children, and it is also called fifth disease or erythema infectiosum.

Slap cheek syndrome i... Read more about slapped cheek syndromecauses

TREATMENTS

How is slapped cheek syndrome treated?

There is no vaccine for slapped cheek syndrome, and there is no specific treatment for the condition. Symptoms of slap cheek syndrome, such as fever or pain, can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Read more about slapped cheek syndrometreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 30, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases


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