Who is at risk for fifth disease?
Fifth disease generally affects children 5 to 7 years old. It is most common in the spring.
Adults who haven’t had fifth disease before can catch it, but many adults have had it as children and are immune.
How is fifth disease spread?
Fifth disease is spread by coming into contact with saliva or mucus carrying the virus. For example, it can be spread by coughing, sneezing or sharing items. Frequent hand washing may help reduce the spread of the virus.
Unlike other rash illnesses (such as measles), once the symptoms appear, you are no longer contagious.
Fifth disease is caused by parvovirus, but it isn’t the same type of “parvo” that infects dogs and cats, so you aren’t at risk of catching it from pets.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff