What is fifth disease?

Also known as: erythema infectiosum, parvovirus B19 infection, “slapped cheek” disease.

Fifth disease is a mildly/moderately contagious viral infection spread by respiratory droplets (from an infected person coughing or sneezing) that presents as a red rash, commonly in school aged (5-15 years of age) children, usually in the spring and winter.

It’s called “Fifth disease” because it was 5th on the list of 6 recognizable childhood rashes.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

© 2023 Nicklaus Children's Hospital. All Rights Reserved.