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 ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

What are the potential complications of slapped cheek syndrome?

Slapped cheek syndrome is usually very mild. Certain groups of people are more prone to developing complications of slapped cheek syndrome.

If a pregnant woman is infected with the virus that causes slapped cheek syndrome, her baby may have birth defects. Slapped cheek syndrome may cause severe, even life-threatening, anemia in people with a compromised immune system as a result of HIV/AIDS, medications to suppress the immune system after an organ transplant, cancer or cancer treatment, or taking corticosteroids. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of slapped cheek syndrome include:

  • Birth defects
  • Chronic anemia
  • Pregnancy complications

References:

Fifth disease. PubMed Health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001972/. Accessed April 27, 2011.

Parvovirus B19 (fifth disease). CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/respiratory/parvo_b19.htm. Accessed April 27, 2011.

INTRODUCTION

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.... Read more about slapped cheek syndromeintroduction

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 sickle cell disease or a weakened immune system.... 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.... Read more about slapped cheek syndromecauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 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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