Fifth disease is a common childhood infection causing a "slapped cheek" appearance and a rash.
It is also known as Erythema infectiosum.
It most commonly affects young children and often occurs in several members of the family or school class.
Thirty percent of infected individuals have no symptoms.
The child is usually otherwise quite well, but occasionally has a slight fever and headache.
The first sign is firm red cheeks, which feel burning hot.
A rash follows 1 to 4 days later with a lace or network pattern on the limbs and then the trunk.
Although most prominent in the first few days, the rash can persist at least intermittently for up to six weeks.
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