Pay attention to the symptoms and how erythema infectiosum is spread in boys and girls, a viral disease with a fast recovery!

Erythema infectiosum in children is caused by parvovirus B19. It is also known as “fifth disease” and its transmission occurs only between humans. Check out more interesting articles on our site.

It is a very common viral infection during childhood (being less frequent in adults and infants), and its main characteristic is the appearance of rashes on the cheeks. These rashes can be very noticeable. But in general, erythema infectiosum in boys and girls is a trivial infection, for which no specific treatment is necessary and which resolves spontaneously.


Infectious erythema in boys and girls usually appears in preschool or school age children, that is, between the ages of 3 and 10 years. Its contagion is carried out by the respiratory route, through small drops that are emitted when we cough, speak, sneeze…

It is very common that this is due to epidemics, so schools and nurseries are very prone to contamination. The most frequent season is spring.

You should know that the period in which there is a greater danger of contagion is at the time when the infection is incubating and when the symptoms have not yet appeared. Therefore, unlike other diseases, such as measles or chickenpox , erythema is hardly contagious when the rashes appear.

The incubation time is from 5 to 14 days, at the end of which a series of symptoms appear:

  • Eruptions that start on the face and go down to the trunk and extremities (arms and legs). It does not affect the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. The rashes appear as red spots that are sometimes flat and sometimes slightly raised. The first place they appear is the cheeks and it will look like the boy or girl has been slapped.
  • Symptoms that have to do with the upper respiratory tract (nose and pharynx), such as runny nose, may appear. Most of the time, the boy or girl is in a good general condition, they do not have a fever and if they do have, it is usually low.

The common duration of erythema infectiosum in children is 10 days, after this time, the symptoms disappear. However, they can resurface after weeks or months due to heat, or having carried out strenuous activities.


The treatment is not specific, but symptomatic, that is, it is intended to relieve the discomfort that the symptoms may cause. If your son or daughter is very uncomfortable with these, it is best to talk to the pediatrician, who will recommend some medications . Paracetamol can help relieve joint pain.

It is important to avoid the child’s contact with pregnant people, since, although for them it is not a very problematic disease, in the case of contagion in pregnant women, the virus can have important consequences. This is because human parvovirus can be transmitted to the baby through the placenta, causing fetoplacental anasarca . If this happens, the baby will suffer from an accumulation of fluids throughout the body, thus having a swollen appearance.

On the other hand, contact with children who have chronic hemolytic anemia should be avoided, as it can cause a significant decrease in their red blood cells.

To prevent the spread of erythema infectiosum in children, hand washing, the use of paper handkerchiefs under a cold, and good hygiene in nurseries and schools, places where children live together, will be essential.

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