Friday, April 16, 2010

Ainsley has parvo!

Yep, I knew that would get your attention. I am getting better and better with headlines. And yes, Ainsley really does have Parvovirus B19, otherwise know as fifths disease. First off, for those of you with significant worry - relax. Unless you are pregnant or a susceptible adult you really have nothing to worry about. Of all of the predominantly childhood diseases (viruses) to get this is one of the easiest. The ill child typically has a "slapped-cheek" rash on the face and a lacy red rash on the trunk and limbs. (See, no reason to call CPS) Occasionally, the rash may itch. An ill child may have a low-grade fever, malaise, or a "cold" a few days before the rash breaks out. The child is usually not very ill, and the rash resolves in 7 to 10 days.

It is nastier for adults and you certainly don't want it if you are pregnant. An adult who is not immune can be infected with parvovirus B19 and either have no symptoms or develop the typical rash of fifth disease, joint pain or swelling, or both. Usually, joints on both sides of the body are affected. The joints most frequently affected are the hands, wrists, and knees. The joint pain and swelling usually resolve in a week or two, but they may last several months. About 50% of adults, however, have been previously infected with parvovirus B19, have developed immunity to the virus, and cannot get fifth disease.

So, should we keep Ainsley in a bubble? Naw, it is too late.

A person infected with parvovirus B19 is contagious during the early part of the illness, before the rash appears. By the time a child has the characteristic "slapped cheek" rash of fifth disease, for example, he or she is probably no longer contagious and may return to school or child care center. This contagious period is different than that for many other rash illnesses, such as measles, for which the child is contagious while he or she has the rash.

So, if you start to see a rash on your child's cheek it looks like we are the culprit.

I am guessing all of the boys in Ainsley's class will probably start showing up to school with a red cheek.

Sorry about that.

Just be glad it wasn't something else. Trust me, with my twerplets it could have been far worse.

Now, on to purpose I can control.

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