Fifth's Disease

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Exposure to Fifth's Disease during Pregnancy

June 2005

I'm wondering if anyone has gotten advice from their obgyn regarding exposure to Fifth's Disease while pregnant. Much of what I read on the net says it's dangerous to the fetus no matter where in your pregnancy you are. Some say early exposure is's all mixed advice. My obgyn says there's nothing to worry about. There's been no proven problems to the fetus. Anyone out there have any advice from their doctor?

I was exposed to Fifth's Disease when I was about 12 weeks pregnant (a friend's toddler had it, and his red-cheek rash wasn't diagnosed until the day after I had spent a day with him). My OB gave me a blood test to see if I had picked up an active infection with the virus. She said that what little evidence there is on this suggests that exposure at 18-20 weeks gestation is the worst in terms of negative outcomes for the fetus. She also said we could order an ultrasound to check for any developmental problems if the blood test indicated an active case. As it turns out my blood test was negative so I didn't have to worry about that. But as I understood it from my doctor, there was nothing they would be able to do treatment-wise, would only be able to watch and wait, if I had been infected. That's why it's so important to avoid exposure while pregnant if at all possible. That said, my OB did also reassure me that most people who are exposed don't actually develop any problems. Good luck to you. Katie

I work in healthcare and was exposed to fifths disease during my 3rd pregnancy. I contacted my physician and he ordered a simple blood test to check if I have had previous exposure that would have created antibodies. I did. If you haven't had previous exposure it has been linked with spontaneous abortions and anemia in the fetus. I pasted the CDC website below. Print out this fact sheet and ask you physician to address each point of concern with you. You have a right to have your concerns addressed by the facts not the blanket statement ''there's nothing to worry about''. You are obviously worried about it so s/he need to address your concerns. I hope this helps.