Fifth Disease: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 3/10/2020

Fifth disease is an infectious disease that often affects young children. It is also known as erythema infectiosum. While it can occur in any age group, it is most common in children 4-10 years of age.

Signs and symptoms of fifth disease include

The symptoms are similar to those of a common cold. After about a week, a characteristic bright red rash appears on the cheeks that has been describes as having a "slapped cheek" appearance. Subsequently, a fine, red lace-like rash may break out over the rest of the body. Joint pains are another possible associated symptom.

Cause of fifth disease

A virus, parvovirus B19, causes fifth disease.

Other fifth disease symptoms and signs

Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.