What is Fifth Disease?

  • Fifth disease is a mild rash illness caused by parvovirus B19. It is more common in children than adults. A person usually gets sick with fifth disease within 14 days after getting infected with parvovirus B19. This disease, also called erythema infectiosum, got its name because it was fifth in a list of historical classifications of common skin rash illnesses in children.

Is this a reportable illness?

  • This is not a reportable illness to CDPH but consult with your school nurse to learn more.

What do schools need to do next?

  • Sick Person
    • No exclusion of student unless febrile or other symptoms meeting illness exclusion criteria are present.
      • Once the rash is present, they are probably not contagious. So, it is usually safe to go back to return to work, school or a child care center.
  • Any pregnant woman who may have been exposed to parvovirus B19 should contact their obstetrician or healthcare provider as soon as possible.
  • No action for close contacts.
  • No special cleaning.
  • Standard Best Practices
    • Good handwashing and hygiene practices: Handwashing - Clean Hands Save Lives | CDC
    • Proper disposal of soiled tissues.
    • Avoid sharing linens, hair supplies, or clothing items
    • Proper disinfection of surfaces and toys
    • Avoid scratching skin and lesions; avoid direct contact with skin lesions
      • Keep skin lesions covered where possible.
      • Recommend nails be kept short and trimmed when itchy lesions are present