Pediatricians warn metro parents about Fifth disease infecting c - KCTV5

Pediatricians warn metro parents about Fifth disease infecting children

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Doctors say Fifth disease is actually a very common childhood illness and is treatable. (KCTV5) Doctors say Fifth disease is actually a very common childhood illness and is treatable. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Pediatricians in Kansas City are warning parents about a virus sweeping the metro and infecting their children.

The virus is known as Fifth disease, or the slapped cheek rash because doctors at Pediatric Associates in Kansas City say once it is on a person’s face it looks like somebody slapped them in the face.

Doctors say Fifth disease is actually a very common childhood illness and is treatable.

It's caused by a virus that gives children a very distinct rash that typically covers the arms and chest and causes very red cheeks.

“A lot of parents come in and think their kid is having a reaction to sunscreen or they have been playing outside really hard because fifth disease always happens in spring time when our kids are outside,” said Dr. Natasha Burgert of Pediatric Associates.

Dr. Burgert says Fifth disease is spread through mucus and saliva. So, typically, little kids give it to each other from not washing their hands enough, sharing cups, straws or toys, and putting things in their mouths.

She also says most adults have likely already had Fifth disease during their childhoods and are now immune.

However, if people are pregnant and come into contact with a child who has Fifth disease, Dr. Burgert recommends calling their OBGYN. In rare cases, it can cause complications. 

As for treatment, Dr. Burgert says there is none.

She says the best thing a parent can do for their children is to provide some “TCL” and give it time.

It can take a couple of weeks for the Fifth disease rash to go away.

Doctors say parents can try Benadryl if the rash becomes truly uncomfortable, but that's about it.

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