Cracked cheek syndrome: signs and symptoms

Slapping cheek syndrome, also called the fifth disease, is common in children. right Mayo Clinic, the disease may become more “visible” in the sun. What should you take care of your baby?

Cracked cheek syndrome is a common and highly contagious disease of childhood. It is named after the distinctive rash of the developing face. The infection usually has no signs or symptoms. When symptoms appear, they vary greatly depending on how old you are when you have the disease.

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Early signs and symptoms in children may include:

  • Fever
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Runny nose.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a few days after the onset of early symptoms, “a bright red rash may appear on the child’s face – usually on both cheeks.”

The rash, which can come and go for up to three weeks, becomes more “visible” when the child is exposed to extreme temperatures or spends time in the sun, the health agency explains.

It adds: “We may confuse the rash with other viral rashes or a drug-related rash.”

Cracked cheek syndrome

The symptoms of a cracked cheek syndrome differ in adults.

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For starters, adults do not usually develop a rash on the cheek.

The NHS says: “Adults may also have joint pain and stiffness. This can happen in children, but it is rare.

Joint pain can continue for many weeks, even after the other symptoms have disappeared. “

How to reduce your risk

There is no vaccine or medicine to prevent cracked cheek syndrome.

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However, you can reduce your chances of getting infected or infecting others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Stay home when you’re sick.


Infectious erythema is caused by the human parvovirus B19 which is different from the parvovirus found in dogs and cats, so you cannot get infected from your pet or vice versa. Human parvovirus infection is more common in children of primary school age and occurs in outbreaks in winter and spring, but anyone can get sick at any time during the year.

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Parvovirus infection in pregnancy

Sometimes parvovirus infection during pregnancy affects the red blood cells of the fetus, especially if the woman gets the disease in the first half of pregnancy. Although rare, anemia can be very severe, leading to miscarriage or stillbirth.

Parvovirus infection in people with weakened immune systems

Parovirus infection can cause severe anemia in patients with impaired immune systems:

  • HIV infection
  • Cancer treatment
  • Immunosuppressive treatment in people with organ transplantation

The information presented on this website is informative and does not replace the medical diagnosis or product leaflet. Any decision about your health should only be made after consultation with your doctor.

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