What is slap disease?

What is slap disease?

Slap disease, also known as erythema contagious or fifth disease, is a common viral infection in childhood, although it can also affect adults. This disease is caused by parvovirus B19 and gets its common name because of the characteristic rash it causes, which can resemble the effect of a slap.

This infection is very common in children/Photo: Unsplash

The flu usually begins with cold-like symptoms, including low-grade fever, headache, and general malaise.

Causes and transition

Parvovirus B19, responsible for erythema contagious, is transmitted primarily through respiratory secretions, such as saliva, mucus, and phlegm, especially when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This disease is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15, although anyone can get it. Transmission can also occur through blood and from mother to child during pregnancy.


Strep disease usually begins with symptoms similar to those of the common cold, including low-grade fever, headache, and general malaise. These initial symptoms may last several days before the characteristic rash appears.

  • Skin rash on the face: A rash on the face is the most characteristic symptom, as it begins with light redness on the cheeks, giving a “slap” appearance. This rash may later spread to other parts of the body, such as the trunk, arms, and legs, taking on a mesh or mottled pattern.
  • Joint pain: In some cases, especially in adults, the disease can cause pain and inflammation in the joints, a condition known as arthralgia. This can last from a few days to several weeks.
  • Other symptomsSome individuals may experience additional symptoms such as itching in the areas affected by the rash.

He snorted

The diagnosis of slap disease is based primarily on clinical observation of the characteristic symptoms, especially the characteristic rash on the face. In some cases, blood tests can be performed to detect the presence of antibodies against parvovirus B19, thus confirming infection.


Slave disease is usually self-treating, meaning it tends to heal on its own without needing specific treatment. However, steps can be taken to relieve symptoms:

  • Control fever and pain: Medicines such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can help reduce fever and relieve headache or joint pain.
  • Comfort and hydration: It is recommended to rest properly and maintain good hydration during illness.
  • Alleviating itchingTo relieve itching caused by the rash, soothing lotions or antihistamines can be used.


Although most cases of erythema contagiosum are mild, complications can arise in certain groups of people:

  • pregnant: Pregnant women with slapdash have a slightly higher risk of complications, such as fetal anemia and hydrops fetalis, which can lead to fetal death in severe cases.
  • People suffering from anemia: Individuals with diseases that affect red blood cells, such as sickle cell disease, may experience aplastic crisis, a condition in which the body stops producing enough red blood cells.


Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent slapstick disease. Preventive measures focus on avoiding close contact with infected people and maintaining good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands regularly and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

In summary, sputum disease is a common and usually mild viral infection that mainly affects children. Despite its alarming appearance, the disease usually goes away without serious complications, although it is important to be aware of potential complications in high-risk groups.

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