Students in a local primary school were informed of a case of Fifth Disease, which is more commonly known as “Slapped Cheek syndrome” in a child who attended the school.
For most individuals, no specific treatment is required for parvovirus B19 infection.
Occasionally, serious complications may develop from it during pregnancy.
“A pregnant woman who has been in contact with a case of Slapped Cheek Syndrome should contact her GP, who may wish to do a blood test,” the HSE Spokesperson said.
About 50% of women are already immune to parvovirus B19. Sometimes, however, the infection will cause the unborn baby to have severe anaemia and the woman may have a miscarriage.
According to the HSE, this occurs in less than 5% of all pregnant women and occurs more commonly during the first half of pregnancy. There is no evidence that the infection causes birth defects or intellectual disability.
The infection usually resolves on its own among children and adults who are otherwise healthy.
The ill child typically has a “slapped-cheek” rash on the face and a lacy red rash on the body and limbs. Occasionally, the rash may itch.
An ill child may have a low-grade fever, malaise or a “cold” a few days before the rash breaks out.
The child is usually not very ill, and the rash resolves in 7 to 10 days.