Saturday, May 5, 2007

Fifth Disease

I had a fever and headache off and on for about 2 weeks.  I also had joint pain.  Finally, I went to see a doctor.  She thought I had some kind of viral infection probably caused by parvovirus B19.  I wasn’t totally convinced because I haven’t heard anything back from the blood test and urine test.  Well, yesterday we noticed rash on my 5 yo son’s cheeks and today it seemed worse.  We googled to see what we could find out about this rash.  Don’t you just love google?:)  We did find out that he and I had "Fifth Disease" or erythema infectiosum, which is caused by that virus mentioned by the doctor.  It is said to be common in children ages 5-15, usually occurring in the late winter and early spring.  We are so thankful that it’s a mild illness that just goes away over a period of time.

According to KidsHealth, how this infection got its name is quite interesting.  This infection was considered among the five classical rash-associated infections of childhood.  The other four include measles, scarlet fever, rubella (German measles), and a rash-producing infection unknown to doctors today and is referred to as "fourth disease."