Fifth Disease Adults
Disease is not just restricted to children, although it's more
common for children to be infected with fifth disease, fifth disease
in adults is not so uncommon and can contract the virus too
especially if another member of the household currently has the
disease. They are also more likely to contract the Parvovirus B19 if
they work with children. It has also been discovered that women are
typically more prone to the symptoms than men.
It is estimated that around 50% of adults have the antibodies developed for tackling the virus that causes fifth disease. That means that at some point in their lives they have contracted Fifth disease although most adults do not recall having had the virus or the symptoms. This in turn leads us to believe that most people that contract Parvovirus B19, the viral strain that causes this disease, do not suffer any symptoms, or only suffer very mild ones such as headaches and other symptoms typical of Influenza or a cold.
Some adults and the older children have reported that the rash becomes itchy, although this is not an apparent symptom of younger children. However, children are more likely than adults to develop the tell take symptom of a rash and this is probably an indication that adult symptoms do not occur as severely.
In a household with fifth disease, adults have a 50% chance to contract the disease themselves and it is recommended to practice regular hand washing if a member of the household has the disease. This will reduce the chances of other family members getting this virus.
If an adult has already had fifth disease, they are considered a fifth disease adult and they will most likely not contract the virus again. In adults, there is the possibility that contracting this disease can cause infectious arthritis otherwise known as septic arthritis where the joint has been invaded by a virus or bacteria, in this case the Parvovirus B19.
Regardless of your age you should ensure you visit your doctor if you suspect fifth disease. Adults and children should see their doctor who will be able to provide a definite diagnosis and medical advice on the treatment and condition. Some people can develop more serious side effects if they suffer from blood diseases such as anemia or have low immunities.
The disease usually lasts for 3 weeks at the most; however joint pains have been known to last for months after the recovery of the disease. There is no vaccination for this disease. It's simply a matter of waiting it out with plenty of bed rest, fluids and some pain killers just as if you had the flu. My overall advice for this is to go see your doctor, then go home, go to bed and pamper yourself or get someone to do it for you!