Disease Information for Parvovirus Infection/Parvovirus 19: Definition

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  • Parvovirus has one strain that can infect humans, causing Fifth Disease. Fifth Disease is an exanthem common in school children, again, caused by human Parvovirus B19. It is characterized by "slapped cheek" rash, an

    elevated Rheumatoid factor , as well as an erythematous rash. It is spread via respiratory route and adults who have not been exposed to the virus present with aforementioned symptoms as well as pain and swelling in joints caused by an associated auto inflammatory response. [DiagnosisPro Contributor 2009]

    The most common illness caused by parvovirus B19 infection is "fifth disease," a mild rash illness that occurs most often in children. The ill child typically has a "slapped-cheek" rash on the face and a lacy red rash on the trunk and limbs. Occasionally, the rash may itch. The child is usually not very ill, and the rash resolves in 7 to 10 days. Once a child recovers from parvovirus infection, he or she develops lasting immunity, which means that the child is protected against future infection.

    An adult who has not previously been infected with parvovirus B19 can be infected and become ill, and develop a rash, or joint pain or swelling, or both. The joint symptoms usually resolve in a week or two, but they may last several months. [CDC 2009]

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