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Fifth Disease

I can't believe I am reading all this.  I know this discussion is old, but how did everyone make out?  It is March 2008 that I am writing this in reply to the strand about Fifth's from 2002.  I have had Fifth Disease since January.   I too, went through much false diagnosis. I was taking Ibuprofren and even Tylenol 3s for pain with no effect. I couldn't walk, sit, sleep, work.  There is a blood test that can test for Parvovirus B19, which came back positive.  From what I've read on the internet, it seems to be much more severe in an adult than in a child.  Children get a mild flu-like condition for a few days and a rash.  Adults get all over joint pain and fatigue that they wouldn't wish upon their worst enemy.  I am like a crippled woman twice my age!  I'm 40.  Everyone thinks of a rash when they hear I have this.  Who cares about a rash?  That's no even relevant to me, it's the never ending pain that is the only symptom I care about.   My doctor put me on steroids, prednisone 20 mg a day for a few weeks. It was great symptom relief of pain and I stopped the Tylenol. Then I weaned off them, and all the symptoms returned.  I am now back on, but only at 15mg strength.  I have the worst headache in the world today, have taken seven Tylenol in 10 hours, three Ibuprofren and I just want to bang my head against a brick wall.  How long does this last?  What do I do next????  Is this related to stress, exhaustion, chronic fatigue?  I definitely don't have mono, I was tested for that.  I am shocked again that that doctor replied to you all those illnesses THAT YOU JUST SAID YOU WERE ALREADY TESTED FOR!  Do they ever actually listen to the patient?  He said it didn't sound like Fifth's.  Why do doctors know so little about this?  It sounds exactly like Fifth's!  Because that is what my blood tests showed and it's exactly the same.  Anyways, if you or anyone else is reading this, let me know how you got over it and how long it took.  I need to know how far off the light is at the end of this tunnel!

This discussion is related to Mutated Fifth Disease?.
48 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm in the same boat as you. I'm actually going BACK to the doctor today (3rd time in a week). I think this is what I have too. Or some strange mutation.

It started with all over aches (flu like) and chills. I had just shot a wedding the day before and thought it was all from that- climbing and running around like a lunatic just killed my body. But thinking back, maybe that was the first part of the virus, just kinda magnified by my stress and fatigue. Then I started with really enlarged lymphnodes behind my ear and around the base of my skull. Painful, too. I was convinced I had lymphoma. I also had a cut in my mouth (from one of my kids accidently bashing me in the mouth and I cut my inner lower lip on a tooth) which just got bigger cause it was in a bad spot and I kept biting it while chewing. I thought that maybe the enlarged lymphnodes were from the mouth cut- just an infection.

the dr. put me on steriods for the enlarged lymphnodes which definitely helped shrink them. That was last week but they are still there. Not as big or painful but I can still feel them a little. I then started with rash all over my body after 3 days on the steroids. Dr. and I both thought it was an allergic reaction to the steroids. Red, flat lacy looking rash on my arms, trunk, legs, butt, back..everywhere but my face. Not terribly itchy. Not raised. Just uncomfortable. Stopped taking the steroids as per the dr. and started Benadryl.  The second day the rash moved to my cheeks but it wasn't rashy looking- just red. Really red. Exactly like the pictures of 5ths. Low grade fever later in the day (around 100), joints started aching and my hands and knees looked swollen. Third day, no more rash anywhere (just really faint on my arms) but my hands are sooooo swollen. Wrists, fingers, and knees feel totally arthritic. Hurts to walk, type, drive, open things.

Going back to the doctor today. He took blood the first day but I don't know if it was tested for 5ths. Everything else he said looked okay for the results. I'll let you know what happens today.
Avatar universal
Yes.  Please do!  The tests for Fifth's take a little longer to come back than other bloodwork.  For me, it was about 10 days.  I am now being referred to an internal medicine specialist and a rheumatologist.  Your symptoms sound just like Fifth's to me.  I think it is extremely under diagnosed.  
Avatar universal
Yup- official diagnosis is Fifths Disease. Doctor called this morning. He said I should expect the joint pain and swelling to last for up to 3 weeks. Uch- really don't have time for this. Hope you are feeling better soon. Thanks for all your input!!
Avatar universal
Well, looks like we figured out the diagnosis before the doctor did!  I hope you only have it two weeks.  I've had it exactly two months today, with only a little relief.  Hang in there!
Avatar universal
Did anyones ANA or C-Reactive protein come back elevated?  
Avatar universal
Is there any known connection between fifth's and mono?
Avatar universal
I was shocked to be reading all of this about Fifth Disease.   I am 38 and have had a daughter who had Fifth  Disease.  Then, about a week later I felt like I was hit by a truck.  I was SOOO tired, but wasn't thinking this viurs.  Anyway by the end of the week, I went to the doc, which I NEVER do, and he said it's probably Fifth Disease being that your daughter has it.  They took a blood test, which my WBC was low.  Came back the following week, and now another daughter has it and she has the tell-tale sign of the rash.  I have the rash now too.  I've had the rash now for three days, and since yesterday, my hands look swollen and my feet are killing me.  I got up this morning (Sunday) and could barely walk.  My fingers look so fat and puffy, and my elbows hurt.  I have read that joint pain is common in adults wtih Fifth Disease, but this is horrible.  Ibuprofen is not helping and I surely do NOT want to get on that Prednisone.  

I wish there was something else to do....
Avatar universal
Are you still experiencing any symptoms of fifth's? I started off w/swollen hands and feet over 3 weeks ago...had some joint pain before that but just thought it was from exercise...since then I've fought with the swelling and joint pain off and on..for the past few days while getting ready in the morning I have had extreme pain in my feet...almost indescribable...horrible aches...massive cramplike feeling. I also have hives now. The huge complication is that I'm 7 wks pregnant (unexpectantly)...I got this from my daughter as she had the rash about 2 wks before my symptoms. My ob doesn't seem to be very educated about the symptoms in adults....they said all the women in the office last yr that tested pos w/fifths had the rash and fever...that's all! Don't I wish! They kind of blew off my symptoms until the tests came back pos...retested and titers went up...not shocking...at this point there's nothing that can be done. As far as the baby, I suppose they will do sonos more often to watch for hydrops (if I don't miscarry before then).  I am in living hell!
Avatar universal
Oh this is so interesting....and helpful.  I had the fever, chills, TIRED symptoms for 2-3 days, and assumed I had the flu.  Then I got the rash, lacy, not raised, no symptoms just kind of there.  And just as the rash was getting better, my hands and feet swelled.  And my knees, feet, hands and back all ached so bad.  It gave me a new respect for people with arthritis!  It's been a month and I am feeling better.  But I notice I can't really do a good work out yet, I get so tired, and my muscles don't bounce back right away.  My Dr. didn't even want to test for Fifth's, but I suggested it.  I think more people should be aware of the symptoms for they don't go through a bunch of needless testing.
Hope you are doing better Missy....hang in there!
Avatar universal
Wow..this is really wierd. Where do all of you live? I live in Central Taxas and am wondering if these outbreaks of Fifth Disease are all in the same area. My husband brought home a cold (at least that's what we thought it was) from work. He gave it to me and we thought nothing of it because it was gone in about 3 days. About 4-5 days later I had the worst body aches. I thought my nerve endings were on fire... even my skin hurt. Then that disappeared and a couple of days later I woke up with a rash (three days after my husband woke up with a rash). I thought that was wierd and knew that we must have some kind of virus. Then the next day I woke up with the WORST "crick" in my neck and also had shoulder, wrist and hand pain on both sides. I went to the doctor and he immediately mentioned Fifth Disease. My husband only has mild knee pain but I still have severe hand and shoulder pain. It's been a week since the joint pain started and 800mg of Advil barely takes the edge off. Two of my five children now have a rash. No "slapped cheek" rash on my 10 year old, just a lacey rash on his arms and legs. My 2 year old has the "slapped cheeks". Poor babies!  

Does anyone else with this virus live in Texas? Just curious!
Avatar universal
Your story is exact to mine with the neck crick and now my hands are swollen and in pain.  My feet, ankles, and knees just started.  My son had a sever case two weeks ago and his entire daycare had it.   I live in Northern Ohio.  Just thought you would like to know that it seems to be everywhere.  I am debating on seeing a doctor since I pretty much know what it is, but the prednisone seems to be a decent solution to some of the pain and swelling, so that maybe a reason to go.

Please let me know how you are doing as I think I am a week behind you.
Avatar universal
Has anyone had this in a chronic form - like, it never goes away, or lasts for years ? Not so much the rash, but the fatigue, joint pain and swelling, nerve sensations etc... and had a diagnosis of fifths disease in the beginning, or ever ? I have been sick since about 1990 -91. I had a lot of symptoms of this disease, been to many rheumatologists etc.., had a lot of tests.

Has anyone else out there consistantly exibited low neutraphil count and high lymphosite counts ?? (sp.?)

Most tests for rheumatoid etc.. come out negative, but here I am exibiting ALL the symptoms and more. Doctors largely clueless and lazy. Investigating much must make their heads hurt. Much easier for them to let peoples lives turn to painful suffering wastes. Doctors seem to be taught to never think creatively, and Never out of their pre-set boxes. How sad. So much money, time and effort spent on their "educations". Not to mention how sad it is all my money has been spent on that. Especially now that I am so debilitated that I will probably never be able to make any more. Ever. Can you tell that after almost 20 years of this I am a bit frustrated ??   Would like to hear from anyone who has had this long term and tested positive at any point, and from those who may have similar symptoms or bloodwork results. Also if any of you have had and also tested positive for Mono, EBV, Lyme, Ehrlichosis, Bartonella, Babesiosis, Mycoplasma, Giardia, Tularemia, Canidiasis (Yeast) or any Parasites - esp. any Amoebas. Thank you for your time, and I hope that you are are feeling better. - Sick of Sick.
Avatar universal
I just found out that I tested positive for fifth's disease, but only after getting a copy of my own medical records and researching the heck out of them.  You asked if any one has had chronic fifth's disease.  As far as I can tell, I've had it for at least 6 months.  I know that's nothing compared to your years of suffering, I can't even imagine how horrible this must have been for you- 6 months into this I feel like I'm dying or like my body's shutting down. Several of my doctors also told me that all of my tests were "negative."  I believed them until I asked for a copy of every single test ever run on me.  I highlighted any thing that came up even slightly out of the range for "normal."  At least 5 or 6 of my tests came back abnormal.  Makes me wonder if they even read the results to all of the tests that they order. My god.  Anyway, a lot of info on the internet says that fifth's only lasts for a short time, but just reading everyone's stories on this site have taught me otherwise.
Have you been to an infectious disease specialist or a dermatologist?  I showed my rash to a dermatologist, whom I'd never met before and she immediately had some ideas.  I think she's the one who ordered the fifth's test, just didn't read it. Oops :)
541196 tn?1293552936
It's really dangerous for pregnant women to be exposed to someone with fifth's disease... so even though I know you all have to carryout life... be cautious of the birth defects and misscarriage it can lead to in pregnant women.  I hope you feel better soon!!!! Sounds terrible.  
Avatar universal
I am 36 years old and live in Ga.  My whole family of 4 has been through fifths disease since my daughter brought it home from school towards the end of May.  We are all pretty much over it, but I will list all my symptoms for those of you who are suffering with it.  I kept track of it day by day.  My husband's symptoms were similar, but of shorter duration and he had a fever.  Here we go:
May 24/25- achy legs, chills, lacy rash
May 30 - severe body aches
May 31- sore throat (worst one I have ever had) , cough
June 1 - same cold symptoms, aches better
June 2 - severe sore throat, joint aches began in wrists and knees
June 3 - joing aches worse, trouble sleeping/cough
June 4 - OMG worst joint pain ever - shoulders hurt, fingers hurt, debilitating pain - could not raise arms up at all
June 5 - joint pain better (not gone) eye discarge with redness and puffyness in both eyes. sore throat/sinus headache
June 6 - ear ache, eyes better, aches better but still there, tiredness and fatigue
June 7 - still achy/ cold and ear symptoms still there
june 8/9 - still achy, cough

After this it all just slowly went away.  I do now notice that if I get in the sun, my joint pain returns in my fingers and knees for some reason.  No pain reliever seems to help when you are in the middle of fifths - I tried it all - even had some tylenol with codeine left over from a toothache.  You just have to suffer through it.  I did read somewhere where it can take 4 months to go away completely.  This is because red blood cells regenerate every 120 days and thus it takes that long to get the virus out of your system.  There have been rare reported cases where the virus can last years - the longest reported being 9 years.  I am a healthy normal weight female and this is the absolute worst sickness I have ever had, including flu and pneumonia.  Hope this helps someone else to get through it.  For most, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  
Avatar universal
I am 28 year old female. have had chronic parvovirus for almost a year now.after multiple tests that was all they came up with .So fed up with Sanantonio doctors i finally found one that was willing to look a little further to find out why the virus still existed.Came to find out i had a candida infection in the intestinal tract.And as iknow now that our stomachs are our main immune fight.So doc. is treating candida infection to help release immune system enough to start fighting back.Otherwise healthy all tests came back normal.10 mris multiple blood tests emg for nerve conduction and most memorable spinal tap.Hope this info helps some of you suffering from this and hope to god we all come to the end of it soon.I will have you in my prayers and hope you will be willing to do the same for me. God bless you all.
Avatar universal
I cannot believe this.  I too am suffering from fifths and am finally starting to see the light.  I live in New Jersey and there has been an outbreak in our town.  I have had so much pain that I was also popping 2 motrin's every 3hrs continuously around the clock.  I went to see several dr's that continuously said "it will go away on its own" one actually laughed at me and refused blood work!  I swelled up so much that I gained about 8 pounds in 2 days which caused my dr to get alarmed.   He prescribed me water pills which did take the swelling down but thats it.  My whole body was swollen especially my legs.  Joints killed me (every single one esp. shoulders...couldnt raise my arms) with terrible headaches and swollen glands in back of my head at base of skull as well that also hurt....not to mention TMG started.  My jaw bone hurt so bad could barely talk and saw my dentist who wants me to get a $200 mouth guard.  I finally started to feel better and pain has subsided except headaches but then I get a mild cold and get bronchitis out of nowhere.  My dr checked for 5th finally to confirm since my 3 children all had it and bingo!!!   You all have no idea how excited I was to read this website...with tears...that I was not going crazy.  It all lasted me about 2 months but still wake up with bad mornings.  I've been very depressed about it, hope that goes quick soon too.  On top of all this I am a diabetic so I thought this may have only happened to me and that the diabetes complicated it.  Anyway thanks for listening and I will pray for everyone to get better soon.  Hope Dr's take people a little more serious and look into this disease......somethings not right!!
Avatar universal
Hope you are doing much better.The only piece of advice i can offer for you're bad mornings is to find some supplements that will help boost you're immune system to fight what is left.apparently this little virus is a big problem for some people.You are in my thoughts and prayers.GOOD LUCK
Avatar universal
I am so glad I finally found some people who know what I have been through the last 3 years. I have had every test known to man done (exept Human Parvo) 6 colonoscopies, a liver biospy, ect...
I am so tired of being sick. I was finally hospitalized for 14 days in Jan. I am "better" but not well. I am a military wife-so my hisband is gone too much and I have a 4 year old and 2 year old daughters and a 9 year ols stepson. I can't be sick. If most people felt like I do they woyuld stay in bed but I HAVE to get hrough pain,diarreah, vomiting, bacterial infections, and I just don't know who can help. Docotrs don't have any answers. Yes, I have been tedted for Lupus,Lime Disease, ALL of them!!!! I have seen so many specialists and they just keep pawning me off on the next and once I finally got diognosed with Parvo- they said- "Well nothing we can do-just ride it out" Yeah right for how long? Is there any end in sight. How much loss does there need to be?I am sorry I sound angry- I am. This took everything but my family form me. I was a healthy,active women. I worked out 5 days a week,hiked 2 times a week, went dancing twice a month, and was a spontaneous-fun mom. Now I am lucky to have enough strength to do the normal "mom/wife" stuff. I hurt all the time. Isthere any help out there?
Avatar universal
I have had the virus for 1 year now.My doctor also found i had a candida infection in the intestines and that is where most of you're immune fight comes from.So we are fighting that first to see if i get any better.Also have been doing alot of immune boosting.I ordered a product called emerald green also am on the candida diet to help.I also was a very active 28 year old woman now i can barely stand for 15 minutes THIS IS HORRIBLE.Looking forward to getting better and will hope and pray for you .Yes the virus has to run its coure but should be self limitig to a couple months.Might want to ask you're doc. about checking into something obstructing immune function could be candida infection and might be something else very simple to fix.Dont give up the fight.I dont know where you live but you are more than welcome to call if you need extra support from someone else who knows just how crapy you feel. 210-584-7710
535822 tn?1443976780
Have you worked out where you all live in relation to each other I wondered if it was a local outbreak ,do you live near the Ocean, I have heard of a Bacteria from the Ocean that has cused a similar illness with a Rash, just a thought I will research further.This Happened in Florida and California.
Avatar universal
This may help.... GOLDENSEAL ROOT and ECHINACEA ...  I work at a day camp and was informed that two of the children had come down with fifths disease - a week later I had the lacey rash and the severe joint pain and swelling. Luckily I knew exactly what it was and did not have to go through all the testing. The doctor confirmed Fifth's and said to ride it out... I read these posts and was horrified by the duration of the disease in adult women (I am 37) - Yes it was a living hell! - I couldn't walk sleep or even grasp items -
I am glad to say that less than 48 hours later I am almost back to 100% - still some stiffness. After reading these posts I knew I had to take matters into my own hands - I went to the health food store and bought a bottle of ECHINACEA and GOLDENSEAL ROOT mixture in capsule form - 450 mg. Yesterday and today I have been taking 2 capsules 4 times a day with food, my symptoms are almost completely gone. For those of you that are suffering please please! go get some - it costs about 20 dollars and is worth ten times that!! I have used intensive treatments of GOLDENSEAL (a native american cure which stimulates the immune system and cleanses the blood) before for a severe sinus infection which also managed to clear up in two days with the herb. I will continue to take the herb for a week so that the virus is completely conquered.  Don't be afraid of herbal remedies and holistic medicines - some of them really work great. It's only 20 bucks available online and in shops and worth a try - It worked for me and I hope it can relieve alleviate some of the suffering out there - why Med professionals don't know about this is beyond me. Best of luck - and please post results if you try it.

Avatar universal
Thanks for the advice i am going to get that stuff tomorrow and pray it works. I have had this virus for a year and am willing to try anything.Thank you sooooooooo much!
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with Fifths a few weeks ago and have experienced the intense pain all of you have shared with us. I was informed by my docter that there is a 40% chance that I won't be inflicted with Rheumotoid Arthritis from all of this.  I hope I beat those odds.  I have read such horror stories about this illness that medical professionals don't seem to concern themselves with.  I know that it attacks the red blood cells and read here that they are only regenerated every 120 days. Has anyone had any doctors recommend a high iron diet to help with this?  Has anyone tried accupunture for relief? For those of you who have been to a rheumetoid arthritis doc...what have they done for you for treatment?  My doc has me waiting a few more weeks before he will give me the referral.  I too am (was) a very physically active female who wants to return to normal and fun activity in my life.  My hope....that we will all wake up tomorrow healed and ready to enjoy life again.  
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