Fifth’s Disease

Dear Parents/Guardians:

We are writing to inform you that one of our students was recently diagnosed with a minor illness called Fifth Disease.

Fifth Disease is a mild viral infection seen most often in children between the ages of 5 and 14 years.  Many children infected with this virus do not become ill.  Some will have a mild fever and a distinctive rash which may come and go over a period of 1 to 3 weeks.

 The virus spreads from person to person in much the same way as a common cold.  People who have the virus are infectious for several days before the start of the rash. Fifth Disease is mostly communicable before the onset of the rash, and probably not communicable once the rash appears.  Once the rash appears, the person is no longer likely to spread the infection.

While there is no specific treatment for Fifth Disease, frequent hand washing is believed to help to curb the spread of the virus.  As long as the child feels well, he/she may continue with usual activities.

The majority of adults who had Fifth Disease in childhood will not get it again if exposed to a child with the infection, however, people with weakened immunity and pregnant women who are concerned that they may have been in contact with Fifth Disease should consult their family physician.

We have posted a sign on our front doors to ensure visitors are aware of the reported case of Fifth Disease.  The sign will remain posted for 20 days and will be removed if there are no further reported cases.

If you have any questions or concerns about Fifth Disease, you are invited to contact the York Region Health Service Department Health Connection Hotline at 1-800-361-5653.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the school office.

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