A parvovirus infection, also called an erythema infectiosum or fifth disease, is a contagious virus that affects humans and is also common in cats and dogs. It is relatively mild and usually resolves itself in a matter of weeks.
Parvovirus leaves a mild rash, referred to as "slapped cheek" rash on the face, torso and limbs. The rash may or may not itch.
Most common in children, parvovirus rash may also be accompanied by cold-like symptoms including headache, sore throat, fatigue and fever.
In adults the most prevalent symptom is joint pain and swelling, which generally goes away in a matter of weeks. Half of the adults infected with parvovirus become immune following their illness.
Exposure of the parvovirus rash to extreme cold or sunlight may make the rash more visible and irritable.
It is possible for persons to have parvovirus and transmit it to others, but not experience any symptoms themselves.