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How Did I Get Parvovirus B19 Infection & What Is The Best Treatment For It?

Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that can spread from one person to another through respiratory secretions like mucus and saliva and blood transmission.1,2

Most conditions do not require treatment and are asymptomatic however in certain cases, the patient remains clinically uncomfortable so the doctor may suggest for antipyretics.3

Human Parvovirus B-19 is a common infection and is typically treated with Acetaminophen and ibuprofen.4

How Did I Get Parvovirus B19 Infection?

Human parvovirus B19 is quite different from parvovirus seen in dogs and cats. They most likely occur in late winter or early spring and the outbreak tends to be cyclical. Parvovirus affects people irrespective of age and ethnicity.

Medical studies demonstrate that the cause of parvovirus is believed to be immunologically intervened and the red rashes on the skin correspond to the appearance of healthy mature red blood cells in the serum. It can also spread from a person to person just like a common cold through cough, sneezing, and saliva. People who are in close contact with these individuals can contract this infection.

The infection of parvovirus B19 turns complicated when it affects the pregnant mothers. As it has the characteristics of transmitting through blood, the mother can pass the infection to the unborn child and the fetus will be susceptible to birth defects.

The infection is transmissible and spreadable one week earlier to the appearance of a rash. Once the rash appears, studies show that it won’t spread the infection and you won’t require to be self-isolated. Recurrence of the rash is provoked by direct exposure to sunlight, stress, or strenuous exercises. Most patients with parvovirus B19 infection show symptoms of joint pain that gets better with treatment. However, in some cases, it may progress to Frank arthritis (an autoimmune disorder that affects joints and body as a whole).1,2

What Is The Best Treatment For Parvovirus B19?

Most conditions of human parvovirus B19 infections are asymptomatic and don’t require treatment. However, in the worst-case scenario, the infections can cause a range of complications such as Erythema infectiosum, Arthritis or arthralgia, and Transient aplastic crisis which can be life-threatening.3

In such cases, the patients would be appropriately treated. When the patient has a fever or feeling clinically uncomfortable, they are usually treated with antipyretics. The common infection of parvovirus is treated with Acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

The resolution of the infection is invariably dependent on the healthy red blood cells and the immune level of the affected individuals. When a patient suffers from red cell aplasia (a rare condition characterized by the absence of red cell precursors leading to a reduced blood cell count) Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is found to be more effective. The IVIG has shown good outcomes when treated in these patients.

In some cases, patients would be given immunosuppressive agents to enhance the immune system and to eradicate the infection.4

Parvovirus B-19 infection is a common but highly contagious viral infection and atypical childhood illness. They are also called as the Fifth disease because it resembles several possible manifestations of infection of parvovirus.

The symptoms are usually mild with fever and runny nose with a distinctive red rash. When children develop this infection, they require little or no treatment. On the contract, adults susceptible to the disease can produce serious health problems especially pregnant women who have an enhanced risk of passing her infection to the fetus.


  1. “Parvovirus Infection.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 15 Apr. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parvovirus-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20376085.
  2. “What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Parvovirus B19 (B19V) Infection?” Latest Medical News, Clinical Trials, Guidelines – Today on Medscape, 23 Mar. 2020, www.medscape.com/answers/961063-77651/what-are-the-signs-and-symptoms-of-parvovirus-b19-b19v-infection.
  3. Heegaard, Erik D, and Kevin E Brown. “Human Parvovirus B19.” Clinical Microbiology Reviews, American Society for Microbiology, July 2002, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC118081/.
  4. McMillan, Julia. “Parvovirus Infections.” Cancer Therapy Advisor, 17 Jan. 2019, www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/home/decision-support-in-medicine/pediatrics/parvovirus-infections/.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 21, 2020

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