Can a Child Have Fifth Disease More Than Once?

Do kids have a natural immunity to fifth disease once they've had the virus?

Fifth disease is one of the most common and contagious childhood illnesses. Fortunately, fifth disease usually doesn't make a child very ill. A "slapped-cheek" rash on the face that spreads to the body and mild, cold-like symptoms (like a low-grade fever and runny nose) usually are the only symptoms. But fifth disease can be dangerous to pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions.

One good thing about fifth disease is that kids who've been infected with the virus that causes it (parvovirus B19) become immune to it and usually won't become infected again.

For more information, check out these articles:
Fifth Disease
Birth Defects

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: February 2009

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