Viewer Question:Can fifth disease (parvovirus B19 infection) be prevented?
Doctor's Response:There is no vaccine or medicine that prevents parvovirus B19 infection and, hence, there is no vaccine or medicine that can prevent fifth disease.
Frequent handwashing is recommended as a practical method to decrease the chance of becoming infected. It is probably effective.
Excluding persons with fifth disease from going to work or attending a child care center or going to school is not likely to prevent the spread of the virus, since people are contagious before they develop the rash.
Last Editorial Review: 5/1/2002