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Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.
A rash is the main sign of infection. The rash usually appears in 3 stages:
(a) The "slapped cheek rash" comes first. The cheeks have a flushed appearance as though the child has been slapped.
(b) Then a red blotchy rash appears on the body and arms and legs. Only occasionally does it appear on the palms and soles.
(c) Then this rash can fade to become a lace-like pattern and the whole rash sequence can last up to 40 days but the average is 11 days. The rash can seem to fade and then flare-up when the child is hot or after exercise or emotional upset. It is often itchy.
The child can have a mild generalised upset such as sore throat, fever and headache, cold like symptoms and tummy upset with diarrhoea, and this usually occurs a few days before the flushed cheeks or body rash appears.
It is important to see a doctor for any unwell child with a rash as other more serious conditions (e.g. meningitis) may cause similar symptoms.
What can be done?
No specific treatment is available and if the child feels well enough it is NOT necessary to keep the child away from school or pre-school. Rest and plenty of fluids are advised for children who feel unwell.
Pregnant women who are not immune and become infected with parvovirus, usually only experience a mild illness, which does not cause birth defects. However, if a woman is infected during the first 20 weeks of her pregnancy, this can increase her chances of miscarrying to about 10%. About 3% of the remaining babies can possibly develop anaemia. Sometimes this is severe enough to lead to a condition called 'fetal hydrops', which can sometimes be life-threatening for the baby. However, many unborn babies recover well on their own without treatments, while others require a blood transfusion while still in the uterus, before birth.
just got to wait now to get my blood test results to see if i'm immune or not! Thankfully they can use some blood they already have i don't need to have another blood test. If i'm not immune then i will have to go and see a consultant at Jessops
in children its fine! apparently most parents won't even notice - put it down to teething or a cold - very mild - just a problem around PG women but unfourtuenatly they're at their most contajus (can't spell) just before the rash appears GREAT!
Hmmm - well I will keep an eye but I don't actually think she has this. I do think she has a heavy cold instead, and a nasty cough. Cough made her really sick last night - cattarh I guess. First time she has been actually sick since being a baby.
Poor thing isn't happy at all. I keep hearingher whimpering in bed every so often.