Fifth disease, also called erythema infectiosum, is usually not a serious infection. Its most notable symptom is a bright red patch or rash on your child’s cheeks. It is caused by a virus called parvovirus B19 and can be spread from one person to another through droplets or secretions (eg, saliva, sputum). It can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. The virus can cause serious illness in a fetus or in any child who has a certain type of anemia (low red blood cell count) such as sickle cell anemia.
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