What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Parvovirus B19 & Coping Methods For It?

In the United States, people mostly get infected with the parvovirus b19 in the winter, spring, and early summer.(1)

Parvovirus only affects humans; hence you cannot get the infection from animals such as dogs or cats.(1)

What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Parvovirus B19?

The management of the disease mainly involves prevention by avoiding contact with infected people. There are no dietary limitations to the disease; however, measures can be taken to avoid anemia by taking a diet rich in ascorbic acid or vitamin C to fight infections along with iron to increase levels of RBCs and hemoglobin. A healthy diet has always gone a long way in fighting infections and building immunity.(2)

The most important part is reducing the chances of virus transmission by washing hands frequently with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, and avoiding contact with infected people. An individual should also refrain from touching his nose, eyes, and mouth while in crowded places. Since the infection can also spread through saliva, it is advised to not share food and drinks with anyone.(2)

Coping Methods For Parvovirus B19 Infection

Most cases of parvovirus b19 infection are mild, and an individual will gradually recover without any medication. Your doctor will prescribe you medication to relieve symptoms like fever, cold, headache, itching, joint pain, and swelling. Since no vaccine is available for the disease, a person develops lifetime immunity once infected with the virus.(2)

Parvovirus b19 is the only strain of parvovirus that is pathogenic in humans. It is a DNA virus that targets and destroys erythroid cell progenitors. The first clinical syndrome found linked to parvovirus b19 was a transient aplastic crisis that occurred in patients with sickle-cell disease. The virus was demonstrated in plasma with evidence of seroconversion at convalescence (time at which the virus is not detectable) taking place. Direct invasion and destruction of erythroid cell progenitor in bone marrow could be seen that further caused the transient interruption in the process of erythropoiesis. Clinically, the manifestation could be seen as acute anemia in patients who have increased erythrocyte turnover (seen in sickle-cell disease and hemolytic anemias). While in healthy individuals, the erythrocytes were seen to be circulating for 120 days, and the infection is resolved simultaneously with no clinical symptoms.(3)

Parvovirus b19 leads to the common benign disease erythema infectiosum in children where IgM antibodies were enabled during infection. The disease was also previously known as slapped cheek syndrome, fifth disease, academy rash, sticker’s disease, and infectious megaloerythema with no hematological manifestations. In individuals with suppressed immunity, as seen in HIV, patients’ chronic infection can occur. The destruction of erythroid cell progenitors continues beyond the maximum life span of 120 days that leads to severe anemia. In pregnant women, infection with parvovirus b19 can lead to severe fetal damage, especially during the second trimester, when there is a great increase in fetal total red cell mass. The infected cells are not able to keep the erythropoiesis needed for an increased red cell mass, leading to severe intrauterine anemia followed by heart failure and erythroblastosis fetalis or hydrops immune fetalis.(3)

Transmission Of Parvovirus B19 Infection

The transmission of the virus takes place through respiratory secretions such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus via an infected person. The transmission can also take place through blood or blood products used during transfusion. A pregnant woman who is positive for the virus can transmit it to the fetus. Mini outbreaks of the virus can be seen every 3 to 4 years. The disease is limited to humans only, so it is not possible to get infected by pets and animals. However, pets can be vaccinated to ensure protection from parvovirus infection.(1)

The disease can be diagnosed with the help of symptoms and blood tests. Other tests that show the presence of the b19 virus are antibody detection with the help of PCR and ELISA, antigen detection, virus particle, and genome detection.

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