Slapped cheek syndrome – also known as fifth disease or erythema infectiosum–is an infection commonly found in school-aged children.
Slapped Cheek Syndrome?
Slapped cheek syndrome – also
known as fifth disease or erythema infectiosum–is an infection commonly found in
school-aged children. While it normally affects those aged between four and ten
years old, it can happen at any age, even into adulthood. This infection affects
the skin of those infected.
the cause of slapped cheek syndrome and how does it spread?
Slapped cheek syndrome is caused
by the virus parvovirus B19, which is separate to the
parvovirus seen in cats and dogs. This infection is spread through direct
contact with the skin, or by inhaling cough droplets from someone infected with
slapped cheek syndrome.
the signs and symptoms of slapped cheek syndrome?
Although slapped cheek syndrome
is not life threatening, it does cause a number of problems for the infected child.
Following infection, symptoms typically take between four to fourteen days to
appear, and they are usually so mild that patients are unaware that they’re
The initial symptoms to present
themselves include fever, headache and a stomach ache. These appear while the
patient is still infectious and able to spread the disease to others, usually
through saliva. From days three to seven, a bright red coloured rash on the
cheeks of the patient – hence the name ‘slapped cheek’. A rash might also
appear on the chest, back and limbs, especially when the patient is exposed to
sunlight or after exercise. This rash may come and go for several weeks.
Once the rash has appeared on the
patient’s face, they are no longer contagious and won’t spread the infection
How do we
diagnose slapped cheek syndrome?
The signs and symptoms of slapped
cheek syndrome are quite distinctive, as the rash causes a unique pink lace
pattern upon the skin. This makes it possible for doctors to diagnose a case of
this condition just by looking at the patient upon arrival at the clinic.
the treatment of slapped cheek syndrome?
There is no treatment necessary for
slapped cheek syndrome, apart from bed rest and plenty of fluids. The infection
usually subsides with the passage of time. However, the doctor might prescribe
medication to relieve the symptoms associated with the condition, such as
Paracetamol to help with fever.
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