Patient Comments: Fifth Disease - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your fifth disease?

Comment from: marcyjane, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

My son had fifths last fall. It was going around his middle school. I was sick with a flu like illness before Christmas but then seemed to get over it. However, after New Year's I noticed I was getting itchy on my torso with small clusters of red bumps. I also noticed a strange pain on the top of my hip bone that radiated into my back with time. Then the back pain hit, the pain in my hands, wrists and neck. My knees didn"t hurt but they kept popping all the time, which they never did before. I"ve been to 2 doctors so far. I sprained my back shoveling just a little bit of snow, which is odd for me as I"m usually able to do anything, be very active, and feel fine. I do Pilates and light cardio to keep in shape, but I feel as if my muscles and bones are losing this battle. My doctor is testing me for Lyme but refuses to test me for fifths as it is self-limiting and wouldn"t affect how I was treated. My suspicions are it is fifths disease associated arthritis. It has been almost 2 months so far and sometimes I feel as if I"m so tired from the pain that I can"t be the mother to my son I"d like to be, that I was before. I hope every day this will end, and end soon. I just want to be normal again.

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Comment from: Taylor, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: March 07

I am 18 years old, I work at a day care. I woke up two weeks ago with an itchy rash all over my back, arms, legs, and stomach. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to new detergent, but after wearing clothes not washed with the new detergent, I knew it was something else. My doctor told me I was having an allergic reaction and gave me 10 days' worth of prednisone. My 10 days of medication ran out and I still had this rash, especially on my arms. I had never heard of fifth disease, but I started to suspect it was something viral after one of the kids at the day care started to present the same symptoms, along with really red cheeks. The director of the day care told me it was probably fifth disease. Today is Day 15 and the rash is not as bad, but still on my arms and legs. I did not have the red cheeks more than a couple of days, but I do note that my ears have been very red and feel like they are burning. The child at the day care also still has symptoms. I've also experience back pain, headaches, runny nose, fatigue, and an upset stomach. I really wish this virus would hurry up and get out of me!

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Comment from: Molly, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I'm 39 and have this virus. It started last week with headaches and a high temperature. Then I was covered in the rash. Each day since the rash more and more joints have hurt. Moving is extremely painful and hurts my neck, back, arms, elbows wrists knees and ankles. My face his now swollen rosy red and irritating and my hands hurt and are swollen. I went to 3 different doctors and, I worked out what the virus was when my daughter came home with red cheeks. I have since moved my son to his grans as he has spherociotoise which "slapped cheeks" (another name for this nasty virus) is very dangerous to him, along with a few other disorders. I'm very tired, in pain swollen and praying it doesn't last long as I work, and in the current climate want to keep my job. My little girl is doing fine lol. It would have kept me calmer if any of the doctors would have said this is what I've got.

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Comment from: nikatnite162, Female Published: March 01

About 3 years ago, I too started not feeling well and ran a low grade fever that went away and then I woke up one morning with my right hand asleep and my face swollen. Then for the next couple of weeks I started gaining about 2 pounds a week until I had gained about 40 pounds a in a 2 week span. The doctors found nothing wrong and kept sending me home until I had a chest x-ray and they found I was collecting fluid in my lungs, at which time I was admitted to the hospital with congestive heart failure. I was put on lasix to drain all the water I had retained. I was told I had slap cheek and that the virus had gone to my heart, I also was extremely anemic.

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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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