Patient Comments: Fifth Disease - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with fifth disease.

Comment from: searchingforhelp, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 14

I work in an elementary school and came down with fifth's about two weeks ago. However I did not know what I had until I found this website. My symptoms include first extreme joint pain, then a fever for about five days with a lot of nausea. The rash developed about day 5 with my hands and feet swelling and retaining fluid. I went back to the doctor this morning hoping to get something for the fluid retention. They took more blood work and I have a low red blood count. I have never been so sick in my life and I am in my late fifties. I wish someone would have warned us of this virus years ago before we make numerous trips to the doctor trying to find out what it is.

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Comment from: tla7210, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I have had fifth disease for about 10 weeks now. I was diagnosed 8 weeks ago and had symptoms for 2 weeks prior. I had mild fever and headaches at first, and then severe arthritis since. It is worst in the mornings and at night while sleeping. My knees, hips and shoulders are most affected. Naproxen helps best for me; it needs to be taken for several days before you really feel the benefits, because it takes that long to reduce the inflammation.

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Comment from: shannon, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I had an interesting experience. I became sick (I thought it was the flu) with a severe headache for days. I had malaise and achiness. Also, I began to swell up. (I gained about 10 pounds.) When I went to the doctor, I was checked for everything. My blood work came back severely anemic, b-12 deficient, and a high BNP number (my heart was in overdrive). Anyway, I was sick in bed for almost two weeks. While talking to another teacher one day (who had fifth's disease), she told me that it sounded a lot like her symptoms. I then realized that fifth's had been going around my classroom for a good two months. I went back to the doctor and tested positive. I've been getting better every day, but I'm still not 100%. Interestingly, I did not have itchiness or redness of any type.

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Comment from: Medic 921, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I was sore for about 3 days. I thought I had over done it working out. Which is strange because I work out every day. One morning I woke up and every joint in my body was swollen. I had been experiencing fatigue and general malaise for about a month prior to this and my PCP had no idea why. I went to my PCP again and the only thing they could find was that I was slightly anemic. The GYN that I work for wanted to run the parvo, my PCP said it was a waste of time. Guess what, it was positive. It has been about 5-6 months and anti-inflammatories do not touch the pain and the swelling. The fatigue is awful! I have a full-time job, 4 children and a husband! If anybody has any suggestions I would love to hear them, because I am not improving!

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Comment from: Jo-Ann A., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I am 47 years. old. One week ago my 7 year old son and I developed fever and cold symptoms for a few days. My sons' fever disappeared quickly and he developed a sunburn looking rash on his face and arms, but said he felt fine. I saw him scratching at his arm, but he denied feeling itchy. The school nurse and the pediatrician said it was fifths' disease. I had started taking antibiotics for bronchitis with green phlegm. I soon developed a pink rash all over my whole body. I called my doctor and he said it would be reasonable to assume I had fifths' disease too. I finished the antibiotics and the bronchitis is improving, but now my hands knees and feet are a little swollen looking and I am having joint pain and stiffness in my fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, toes and worst of all in my knees. Now I am taking Advil for the pain (might I mention I just had back surgery less than one month ago). I hope these joint pains don't last too long.

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Comment from: LT, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I caught Fifth Disease along with my son who was one at the time (in 2007). My symptoms were all over body flu feeling like full body arthritis. It took a month to subside and then flared every few months the first year. By a year and a half out my pain began building back up and was chronic and daily. I am now in year 6 and have been on Flexeril daily since I sought a Rheumatologist in 2008. My diagnosis to receive the medication is fibromyalgia. I can't take other medications due to a kidney disorder. The medication helps me sleep, feel rested and get through the day with minimal pain. My Dr. describes the onset as your nerve system hyper-reacting to the initial pain and never calming down again. The Arthritis website says that the chronic joint pain can go on for up to 9 years. I wonder if this is the longest they have a case record of in a person with the condition. Staying active is key to fighting the stiffness.

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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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