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Welcome To Slapped Cheek

We aim to provide information about the condition called "Slapped Cheek Syndrome" - sometimes referred to "slap cheek" or the "fifth disease". It is so called because when a person is infected their cheeks appear slapped and are red like a rash.

The Dangers of Slapped Cheek Virus & Pregnancy

Because slap cheek symptoms are just like any other cold type virus you may not be aware of the dangers during pregnancy.

Why Dangers For Pregnant Women ?

During the first 20 weeks of pregnancy the virus can cause miscarriage if a pregnant woman is a) exposed to the virus and b) contracts the virus. Also during this time, the virus can also cause a rare condition known as foetal hydrops, which can cause congestive heart failure, a severe form of oedema (swelling of body tissues due to excessive fluid) due to severe anaemia.

Slapped cheek and pregnancy

The Slapped Cheek Virus

Slapped cheek is actually the Parvovirus B19 that only affects humans (although there is a similar animal version but they can not be passed between animals and humans and vice versa) . But like all viruses can pass from one human to another through the air, in saliva or through close contact and can not be treated with antibiotics. The best treatment is to rest.


The incubation period for parvovirus B19 is between one and three weeks and the person will be infectious for about a week before the illness actually becomes apparent. By the time symptoms are present, the person is no longer infectious.

  • low-grade mild fever and flu-like symptoms,
  • headache,
  • stuffy or runny nose,
  • sore throat,
  • lethargy,
  • in a few children there may be nausea,
  • abdominal pain,
  • diarrhoea,
  • adults sometimes develop aches and pains in the joints, and in rare cases brain (neurological) or heart / circulation (cardiovascular) problems have been reported in adults.

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