What is Parvovirus infection?

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Parvovirus infection is a common and highly contagious childhood illness. It’s sometimes called slapped-cheek disease because of the distinctive face rash that develops. Parvovirus infection has also been known as fifth disease because, historically, it was fifth in a list of common childhood illnesses characterized by a rash.

In most children, parvovirus infection is mild and needs little treatment. But in some adults, the infection can be serious. Parvovirus infection in some pregnant women can lead to serious health problems for the fetus. The infection is also more serious for people with some kinds of anemia or who have a compromised immune system.