This childhood disease, with such a curious name, is more common than we might believe. Its name comes from a typical red rash that usually appears on the face as if the child had been given a cake on the cheek.
It was formerly known as the “fifth disease,” as it ranked fifth among infectious diseases with rashes in children before vaccines entered our vaccination schedule. Hence its name: fifth disease or slapped child syndrome.
Unfortunately there is no vaccine possible for fifth disease or slapped child syndrome. Although almost 50% of the child population has suffered from it at some point, its symptoms are so mild that it often goes unnoticed or hidden after a cold.
It usually affects children between 5 and 15 years old, especially in the spring months, and its real name is "infectious erythema". Its symptoms are mild fever, headache, congestion, and mucus, which usually disappear in a few days. There are other less common symptoms such as red eyes, swollen glands, diarrhea, blisters or bruises.
It is not until a few days later that its characteristic rash begins to appear on the face, which spreads over the trunk and extremities, which is often not associated with the same disease.
This rash is generally not uncomfortable, but can sometimes itch slightly, especially when the child is exposed to the sun, heat, or increased sweating.
A very clear symptom that identifies it is that the spots do not appear on the palms of the hands or on the soles of the feet. The rash usually disappears slowly, lightening in the center of the spots and thus taking on a lacy appearance, but it is not until three weeks when it disappears completely.
Slapped child syndrome is quite contagious during the incubation period, but curiously, when the first symptoms appear, the virus has already begun to remit.
There is no need to be alarmed almost half of the population have passed it without realizing it, but you must be especially careful with children with weakened immune systems or blood disorders, as it causes a significant drop in the production of red blood cells; The same is true for pregnant women, as some fetuses may be severely anemic.
Fifth disease cannot be treated with antibiotics, since it is caused by a virus, so you should only rest and treat the symptoms of fever. Once the child has passed the disease, he will become immune to it, so there is no danger that he will contract it again.
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