View Full Version : Exposure to fifth's disease (slapped cheek)

04-28-2011, 09:40 AM
HI Everyone;

I am looking for information on whether or not I should be taking extreme precautions to avoid exposure to fifth's disease. Fifth's disease is often called "slapped cheek syndrom" and is a mild viral disease occurring mainly in early childhood, characterized by fever, a rosy-red rash on the cheeks that often spreads to the trunk and limbs, and usually arthritis and malaise. Also called erythema infectiosum.

I work in a school and a co-worker has it. I thought I would be fine. I know that pregnant women especially in their first trimester must avoid and our company policy is removing them from the workplace for the period of incubation. I have now been asked if I will be okay and I am not sure. I plan to call my doctor's office but am not sure my GP would know...and I have never called my rheumy (seen him once for dx). I think I will call there though.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/fifth-disease#ixzz1KpvbIkGG

"The virus can also cause worsening symptoms in individuals who suffer from the autoimmune disease, systemic lupus erythematosus. "

So does anyone know if I should be extra careful? I assumed since germs, etc are a daily occupational hazard that I shouldn't worry but now I don't know.


04-28-2011, 10:14 AM
Hi there! My daughter had it when she was young so I know what it is. Although I am not a doctor I think it would depend on what meds you are taking. If you are taking things that suppress your immune system then I know you have to be very careful about all illnesses. I agree with you though, I think a call to the Rhuemy would be the best option! Keep us posted because this is something we all need to know!

04-28-2011, 12:08 PM
With the meds that most of us take plus the fact we have autoimmune dieases we have to be concerned about every thing. Bonita

04-28-2011, 12:25 PM
HI all;

Thanks for the input so far. Rheumy's office wanted it all in writing so I emailed them the details and am still waiting for a reply. The protocal my office has states that those with chronic blood conditions may be at high risk. It doesn't list lupus specifically.

It calls Parvovirus (fifth's, slapped cheek) "a mild self-limited illness lasting 2-3 weeks" in children. It may present serious health concerns for pregnant women and for people with chronic blood disorders such as sickle cell disease or leukemia.

It states that pruritis is common, and arthopathy may occur in up to 60% of adults. Very rare complications are possible suce as immune thrombocytopenic prupura, vasculitis and myocarditis. It mentions that patients with various forms of anemia are at greater risk of complications such as (I think)
- precipitation of aplastic crisis
- exacerbation of exisiting anemias
- chronic infection
- exacerbation of severe anemia/cytopenia
- interference with chemotherapy protocols
- chronic infection

Most of that means nothing to me but as we seem to be such a knowledgeable bunch, I though I would include all of the seemingly related info I have.

I have a co-worker with scleroderma and pulmonary hypertension who will also be asking her physician about risk. If I hear anything I will let you know.

I think I also said earlier that several websites list SLE specifically as high risk.

04-28-2011, 05:38 PM
Some more info from a website. It would seem to be that the ladies are right and certain medications and other situations that many of us are in could make this very dangerous.


I am still waiting to hear from my rheumy. I suspect that I will be okay now as I am fairly "healthy" but I will certainly keep this in mind even if the doc says I am okay now. If things change in my health/meds in the future, I will be asking again as this doesn't look like something to fool around with. Hope this info helps someone but as always, talk to your doc about your specific situation.


04-29-2011, 12:59 AM
please be careful. because of my suppressed imune system, i catch everything.
even normal cold become serious to me, if not treated.

04-29-2011, 10:17 AM
Thanks...I am still waiting to hear from the doctor and am frankly annoyed! But I am being careful and looking forward to the weekend.