What is erythema infectiosum (fifth disease)?

Updated: Mar 06, 2020
  • Author: Glenn L Zellman, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Erythema infectiosum (also known as fifth disease) is usually a benign childhood condition characterized by a classic slapped-cheek appearance (see the image below) and lacy exanthem. [1] It results from infection with human parvovirus (PV) B19, an erythrovirus. [2, 3]

Classic slapped-cheek appearance of fifth disease. Classic slapped-cheek appearance of fifth disease.

See 15 Back-to-School Illnesses You Should Know, a Critical Images slideshow, to help identify conditions that may occur in young patients after they return to the classroom.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!