Patient Comments: Fifth Disease - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with fifth disease.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I am a 34-year-old female, and I currently have fifth disease. My 10-year-old niece had it before me, but I am not sure that I got it from her. My symptoms started out as generalized muscular soreness and achiness. I also had a runny nose, which was very stuffy in the night. I ran a low-grade fever only one night. I was working as usual, but having to take ibuprofen for the soreness. I didn't know what was wrong with me until 10 days later when I awoke to very pronounced joint pain all over my body. Two days later, now my hands swell slightly in the night with pressure at my wrists. I have a very light rash that is hard to see unless you are really looking for it. I hope this is over soon.

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Comment from: Syl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I didn't realize I probably have/had it until my granddaughter had it and I looked up the symptoms and there they were. Over the last 3 weeks I've had 2 days where I couldn't get out of bed and nearly called an ambulance. I had one day of diarrhea, about a week of low grade fever, about 2 degrees above my normal, pain in my knee, ankle, hand, shoulder and back of my neck. Taking an ibuprofen was like a miracle until it wore off. I have diabetes (for 22 yrs) plus asthma, plus osteoporosis, a low thyroid, celiac disease and assorted immuno-suppressant problems.

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Comment from: KATHYSAUER, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

A couple of weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter had a rash on her legs, and I thought it was a heat rash. My 30-year-old sister was at our house on that day, and, a week later, she had a 103 degree fever. The next day, she developed a lacy rash and was diagnosed with fifth's disease. Just five days after that, my 7-year-old (who has light skin) had her cheeks as red as if they were about to bleed. Then, she had the rash again and she could not stop scratching for a couple of days. Last Saturday, I started having chills and joint pain, especially on my knees. I knew a fever was coming (I only have joint pain when I am about to have a fever), which was weird because I had no other symptoms. To my surprise, yesterday I woke up with the lacy rash on my body and swelling on my feet. I am using Aveeno anti-itch concentrated lotion (same thing I used on my daughter), and that is helping a lot. I have 3 other kids and a husband, so I wonder...who will be next?

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Comment from: Carmen, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I'm 39 years old and mother of two children. I woke up one morning to find my hands swollen. I was extremely concerned. Within three days, all of my joints were so swollen and sore that I couldn't walk, use zippers, or tie my shoes. Most concerning was that I started to lose feeling in my fingers. Finally, I was prescribed anti-inflammatories that eased my discomfort. I wouldn't have thought of fifth's disease until my son came home with flaming red cheeks. Within days he's almost finished, but four weeks later for me, and my hands still feel thick and get achy if I've done too much.

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Comment from: california, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 08

My 6-year-old son was diagnosed with fifth disease. He had no symptoms. He just woke up one morning with red cheeks, and then three days later, the red cheeks went away and then he broke out with a rash. He was fine for a day, and then he woke up this morning at 1 a.m. itching all over. Now the rash is almost gone.

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Comment from: Debra, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 05

My 7-year-old was diagnosed with fifth disease two weeks ago. He has had severe stomach aches so bad that we took him to the emergency room twice and his doctor once. He doubles over and screams with pain. He was prescribed cyproheptadine (2 mg/5 ml) syrup, one teaspoonful, three times a day. He had a rash a week ago on his chest and cheeks that went away, and he went to school all this past week. Now tonight, we are going through this again. He is fine for a couple of days, then his stomach aches start again. We have had ultrasounds, X-rays, blood work, urine tests and nothing shows up other than the rash and the stomach ache.

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Comment from: justme, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 05

Fifth disease was going through my kids' school in late spring where I volunteered regularly. My daughter had the typical slapped-cheek look and rash, so I identified it right away. But I came down with it before she did. I had the rash but no red cheeks, so I didn't recognize that it was fifth disease for quite a while. My joints very quickly became extremely swollen, stiff, and sore. I had a hard time getting in and out of chairs, and I couldn't even hold a pencil for a few days. It took two weeks for my joints to feel normal with my knees the last to recover. I did take nonprescription anti-inflammatories. A friend who herself had the disease told me the joint pain symptoms would come back in a couple of weeks, and she was right. I wore a sweater all summer because I always felt cold. Maybe this was because of decreased red blood cell production during the infection.

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Fifth Disease - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your fifth disease?
Fifth Disease - Treatment Question: Describe how you treated the symptoms of fifth disease. What would you recommend to someone with the illness?

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