Ok, I did a search and this is what I came up with(see below). What I'm getting from this is that if you had it as a child you should have a immunity to it. But, if you are pregnant and believe you have been exposed I would contact your dr. just to be safe.
Fifth disease is an acute viral illness characterized by mild symptoms and a blotchy rash beginning on the cheeks and spreading to the extremities.
Parvovirus B19; Erythema infectiosum; Slapped cheek
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Fifth disease is caused by human parvovirus B19. It often affects preschoolers or school-age children during the spring. The disease is spread by contact with respiratory secretions and usually lasts for five days. However, the rash associated with fifth disease may recur for several weeks afterwards. Recurrences may be brought on by exposure to sunlight, heat, exercise, fever, or emotional stress.
The first sign of the disease noticed by parents is usually bright red cheeks, which look as though the child has been recently slapped on both sides of the face. Following this, a rash appears on the extremities and trunk. The rash fades from the center outwards, giving it a lacy appearance. Over a period of 1-2 weeks, the rash disappears entirely. This illness is also sometimes associated with fever.
Infection of a pregnant woman can harm the fetus. Although the risk of fetal harm is small, if a pregnant woman believes that she may have been in contact with a person who has parvovirus, she should consult with her physician.
Parvovirus B19 is also thought to cause other disease manifestations. In healthy adults (particularly women), it may be responsible for an infectious form of arthritis. In people with AIDS (or others with weakened immune systems), it may produce a profound anemia (deficiency of certain blood cells), called 'transient aplastic crisis'.
The incidence of parvovirus B19 infection is unknown, but studies suggest that a majority of adults have antibodies to the virus in their bodies. This indicates that most people have been exposed to the virus, and also suggests that many infections go unnoticed.
Rash, first appearing on the cheeks, often looks like "slapped cheeks"
A rash spreading to the extremities about one day later, often has a "lacy" appearance
Joint pain also called arthralgia
Signs and tests
The patient is examined for the appearance and pattern of the rash. A classic appearance of the rash may make the diagnosis straightforward.
Blood tests for antibodies against parvovirus B19, which may indicate infection, are available, although they are not commonly necessary. They may be of use in the diagnosis of "aplastic crisis" and persistent anemia. Testing may also be done when there is a question of exposure in a pregnant mother whose immune status is not known.
I just found out that my miscarrage was due to Fifth disease. I am a school teacher and around alot of kids. I was not warned about the fifth disease. It is serious for preganant women in their first trimester.
I have a question. Every article says to contact your doctor when you know you have been exposed. However, what can the doctor do when they do a blood test and you are not immune? Is there any precautions that can be taken to prevent defects or miscarriage? I found out too late, but want to know if there was anything I could have done or the doctors could have done.
I read in one of my preg books that the fifth disease is like the rh factor. when you contract the fifth disease when preg your body becomes to fight the baby off like a disease. the body thinks that the baby is a forgin object to the body so it does not help it grow it tries to stop it. I did hear that like the rh factor you can have booster shots to help your immune system fight the disease instead of the baby. not totally sure yet i am still trying to fight it. I am five months preg and not immune to the disease, but I do feel my baby moving still and I hope that it moves everyday. I just found out my blood test on the disease three days ago.
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