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Medical Conditions

Can a Child Have Fifth Disease More Than Once?

Do kids have a natural immunity to fifth disease once they’ve had the virus?

Usually, kids who’ve been infected with the virus that causes fifth disease (parvovirus B19) become immune to it and won’t become infected again.

Fifth disease is one of the most common and contagious childhood illnesses. Fortunately, fifth disease usually doesn’t make a child very ill. A “slapped-cheek” rash on the face that spreads to the body following mild, cold-like symptoms (like a fever and runny nose) usually are the only symptoms. But fifth disease can be dangerous to pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions.

The best way to avoid infections like fifth disease is to encourage frequent hand washing.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2015