What Is Human Parvovirus?


Quick Answer

Parvovirus B19 is an infectious virus that spreads through respiratory secretions such as saliva, nasal mucus or sputum, according to the CDC. The methods of transmission are coughing or sneezing. Parvovirus B19 is responsible for fifth disease, a common childhood ailment characterized by fever, runny nose, headache and rash.

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What Is Human Parvovirus?
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Full Answer

The Mayo Clinic states that parvovirus infection is usually not serious in children and requires little treatment, although it may present more complications in adults. Symptoms in adults also differ from those of children, as adults typically do not develop the trademark rash and instead experience joint pain. In pregnant women afflicted with fifth disease, the fetus is at a pronounced risk for developing serious health problems. Those with a compromised immune system are also more seriously affected by fifth disease.

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