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.


Message from Public Health

Student absences have increased recently within several schools in York Region, related to illnesses with respiratory and enteric symptoms.

To protect staff, students and families from getting ill, remember to:

  • Stay at home when you are sick, and keep your child home if they are sick
  • Keep healthy by eating healthy foods, being physically active and ensuring your immunizations are up-to-date, including the seasonal flu shot
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue, not your hand, and throw away used tissues immediately
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Clean and disinfect common surfaces

Symptoms of respiratory and/or enteric illness can include:

  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fever (over 38 degrees Celsius or 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Muscle aches and fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you or your child are sick and do not improve, contact your health care provider.

Many viruses are commonly active at this time of year, for example norovirus and influenza (flu). Both viruses are very contagious and can be spread by contact with contaminated surfaces, such as door knobs or eating utensils. For more information, read the norovirus and flu fact sheets online at the following links:

Norovirus fact sheet

Flu fact sheet