Welcome to 5th Disease dot com

Serious Information about a "not so serious" Disease.

Welcome to our dedicated website resource for understanding Fifth Disease. It may help you to know that Fifth disease also goes by the common names Slapped Cheek Syndrome and Apple Sickness. Fifth disease is not a serious disease so we do not want you to panic, but it certainly is a commonly misunderstood and relatively unknown disease among many, many parents.

Hopefully, our introduction to fifth disease can help to alleviate some of that concern and stress when faced with Fifth disease in your home or local school. Just click on any of our navigation links to learn more about the symptoms, treatment and risks of Fifth disease for you and your family.

Fifth Disease

A Brief Look at 5th Disease

Fifth disease is a viral infection that mostly affects children between the ages of 5 and 15 although it can be passed onto anyone regardless of their age. The most visible and striking symptom is the bright red rash that appears on the cheeks. It is mostly like having the flu and treatment is restricted to treating the symptoms of fifth disease rather than the virus itself. If you would like more information on the symptoms of fifth disease you can visit our Fifth Disease Symptoms page for more detailed information.

There is No Substitute for Your Doctor

Even though we aim to provide you with as much information as possible about fifth disease to help you understand how to deal with it in your home, we do not pretend to be medical experts who can help you to self diagnose your children. Always seek medical advice from your family doctor if you suspect fifth disease, especially if your child has an existing blood condition. If you notice a rash on your child you should always take them to see the doctor immediately, your doctor will be able to tell you if it is Fifth disease or if it's being caused by something else that your child will need medical treatment for.

Try Not to Worry About It

I know it is a bit of a struggle restraining yourself from worrying about your child, but try to relax. Fifth disease is a very common illness that most people have suffered at some point in their lives. There is no vaccination for fifth disease and there is no cure. It is very much like getting a cold, your child will feel run down, have a slight temperature and headaches for a while and then when the rash appears they will feel fine. The best thing you can do is provide some Tylenol or other pain killers, plenty of fluids and ensure they get enough bed rest. For further information on when to send your child back to school see our Fifth Disease and Return to School page.


Most people contract fifth disease at some point in their lives and many of them do not display any symptoms at all. In some cases the rash does not develop and in others the symptoms are so mild they are unnoticed.