Get Rid of Fifth Disease Naturally

Fifth disease, also known as fifths disease, slapped cheek disease and officially as parvovirus infection, is an extremely mild illness that many children may suffer from in their early years. It was named fifth disease because, at the time it was discovered, it was ranked fifth behind other common diseases such as measles and rubella. It shares many of the same traits as these two diseases as well as scarlet fever and Dukes’ disease. It’s so common that between 40% and 60% of adults have had this parvovirus infection.

Don’t worry, however, fifth disease or parvovirus is not the same disease that can be life-threatening in puppies and kittens. Though they share a name they are entirely different strains and cannot cross species!

Fifth disease is very contagious and a child with the disease will be contagious until the rash appears. Once the rash has shown up on the skin the child is generally no longer infectious. The symptoms of the disease mimic the common cold so it is often easily passed around between children while it is still contagious. Teaching good hygiene, to cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and to wash the hands frequently are good ways to help prevent getting fifth disease. It is passed through water droplets in the air after someone coughs or sneezes! 

Adults and women who are pregnant, especially those in their first trimester, have a more difficult time with fifth disease and exposure to the virus can cause defects in an unborn fetus. Talk to your doctor if you have been exposed and not have fifth disease before.

What are the symptoms of Fifth Disease?

  • Rash first on the cheeks, then spreading to the arms and legs
  • Pale looking mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Red eyes
  • Swollen glands
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Joint Pain

How can I prevent Fifth Disease?

  • The best way to prevent you or your child catching fifth disease is to practice good hygiene. Make sure your child knows how to properly wash their hands (sing the alphabet song under hot water with soap). Remind them of the importance of washing their hands frequently.
  • Do not let your children eat or drink after other people. Fifth disease is spread through fluid sharing!

How do I treat Fifth Disease?

  • Help your child get plenty of rest.
  • Make sure your child stays well hydrated.
  • If the rash is uncomfortable able, have them soak in an oatmeal or baking soda bath. Add half a cup of either to a bath of lukewarm water to help with any pain or itching.
  • Echinacea can be given to help with lymphatic congestion and to generally boost immunity to help fight off the virus.
  • Green tea can help to alleviate the symptoms.
  • Clematis papuasica leaves can be used in a tea to help shorten the length of the disease to a week of symptoms.
  • Keep your child eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E.
  • Avoid processed foods, fast food, processed sugars and artificial sweeteners.
  • Even though they may be cranky, let them get sunlight and fresh air.
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