Patient Comments: Fifth Disease - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your fifth disease?

Comment from: Momto4, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 10

I am 49 years old and a special education teacher for grades 1-4. I had a couple of days about a month ago with a slight fever and extreme fatigue. I could not shake the fatigue so went to the doctor. My blood work showed anemia as well as B12 deficiency so I thought that was why I was so tired, but I got worse and all my joints started to hurt. Starting in my back and hips and moving to my elbows, shoulders, wrists, hand knees and feet. I could not dress myself or hold a pen and was terribly frightened. I am seeing a rheumatologist and they suspect viral arthritis brought on by the virus that causes Fifth's Disease. I have been off work for over a week and am still extremely tired and sore. I am on an anti-inflammatory and prednisone and a painkiller. This has turned my life upside down. I have four children and a husband and a full time job as a teacher, plus I am back in school myself. I never knew a childhood illness could wreak such havoc.

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Comment from: HappyHeart, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 06

I am a preschool teacher. Our program was exposed to Fifth's Disease 3 years ago, at which time I became ill with it. I had knee surgery 4 years ago, so the disease attacked the knee joint that had surgery. Other than a severe headache and one knee swelling and painful, I had no other symptoms. I am now again experiencing the exact same symptoms, and seeing children in my program with the mid cold and flu symptoms. The information I am seeing online says that I cannot get it again, but that's not what my knee is saying to me right now!

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Comment from: Mum, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 25

My daughter had what I thought was a cold but she soon developed the rash and was diagnosed with fifth disease - never heard of it. It wasn't too long before I started generally feeling unwell, rundown, then headachy, then sick and dizzy, then I fainted and the next day my joints in my hands, wrist, neck and knees swelled up very painful. After a trip to the doctors he concluded I had a virus and anemia, it wasn't until I mentioned my child had fifths disease that he considered that as the cause. Hopefully the anti inflammatory I've been given will help.

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Comment from: juneschild, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I had been feeling generally weak and headachy for a couple weeks. I just couldn't seem to get enough sleep. One day I came home from work feeling chills and was running a low-grade fever. I spent the evening on the couch and next day went back to work as usual, although feeling pretty tired. A couple days later, I got out of the shower and noticed a rash all over my body. The joint aches are the worst part of this. I hurt everywhere and my hands are so swollen I can't get my wedding rings off. I can't close my fist and it hurts to grip anything. I need to go back to work, but am so fatigued that it's all I can do to keep up with the basics at home for a husband and 4 kids. I am nearly 50 and until this hit me, I never felt my age. Now, I feel like I've been hit by a truck. I'm taking ibuprofen for the joint aches and loratidine (antihistamine) for the itchiness of the rash. I'm trying to get more rest. The most discouraging thing I've read about this is that the joint pain and fatigue can last weeks. Since this is a viral illness, the only thing is to ride it out and get as much rest as possible. Take care of yourselves and good luck to all!

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Comment from: Jess, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

I had been having headache for about 3 days then suddenly my joints started hurting then the rash came out. I didn't think anything of it till my daughter came out with the rash all over her body. Went to the doctor to find out it was fifths disease.

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Comment from: ben, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 14

Under my arms I have bumps and my is back covered with tiny raised bumps not a lot of redness. Cheeks are red with no heat or fever.

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