Who is affected by fifth disease

About 60% of fifth disease infections occur in children between the ages of 5 and 15 years.1 Adults also may become infected with parvovirus B19, although most people get fifth disease when they are children. About half of people who have been infected with parvovirus B19 develop immunity to the virus, which means they cannot get the disease again.2

Outbreaks of fifth disease infections are more common during the winter and spring months.

About 1 or 2 out of 100 women of childbearing age are infected during pregnancy.1

Citations

  1. Levin MJ, Weinberg A (2009). Erythema infectiosum section of Infections: Viral and rickettsial. In WW Hay et al., eds., Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Pediatrics, 19th ed., pp. 1100–1101. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005). Parvovirus B19 (fifth disease). National Center for Infectious Diseases, Respiratory and Enteric Viruses Branch. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/respiratory/parvo_b19.htm.

Last Updated: March 3, 2009

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