When should I call the doctor?

Reach out to your healthcare provider if you think you have fifth disease, or have been exposed to the virus. It’s also a good idea to call your provider if you have:

What questions should I ask my doctor?

If your child has fifth disease, you may want to ask your doctor:

  • How long will we be contagious?
  • How long should my child stay home from school?
  • How long should I stay home from work?
  • What steps can I take to ensure other family members don’t get infected?
  • What can I do to make myself or my child more comfortable?
  • What can I do to alleviate symptoms like an itchy rash or joint pain?
  • Should I notify my child’s school (or my work) about the infection?
  • How long will the rash last? Can it come back?
  • What signs of complications should I look out for?

Summary

Even though fifth disease can look intimidating with its distinctive red rash, it’s usually a temporary condition that goes away with little treatment. However, it’s important to understand that fifth disease can spread easily. If a member of your family has any of the symptoms of the condition, call your healthcare provider. You may need to keep your family member away from others for a little while to keep the disease from spreading. Unfortunately, it can spread before you have symptoms and can be passed along to others without your knowledge. Talk to your provider about the timing of symptoms when your family member is diagnosed. Once diagnosed, take the time to get better before going back to daycare, school or other crowded places.

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