Fifth disease — The Bump
January 2017 Moms

Fifth disease

is anyone familiar with fifth disease? I am researching and talking to docs but not feeling like I'm getting consistent info on it....

backstory: I'm flying to my hometown early Friday morning for a shower thrown by my SIL (mother to my nieces), and staying with my mom. My SIL brought my niece to my moms today and niece woke up with rash and didn't go to day care, so my mom took her to the doc.

apparently niece's rash is fifth disease which is only dangerous for pregnant women/their unborn fetus. If you've had it previously, you're immune but I don't know if I've had it. (Estimated over 50% of people are immune, one of the most common childhood viruses.... who knew??) I had blood drawn today to test which they've expedited but may be unlikely to get results by the time I fly out on Friday.

so not only do I need to avoid my nieces :( but if my mom or SIL or either of their houses has the virus, I'm worried it's too big a risk for me to go.

My OB said I could go but just move the venue and avoid the kid. My hypochondriac husband thinks I shouldn't go at all but I'll miss the long weekend I've looked forward to spending with close friends and family,  miss my shower, and am totally bummed.

the icing on the cake, when I told my bff who's cohosting and has done all the planning/decor, she had to break the news that she was waiting to tell me in person- she's pregnant too! I'm so happy but feel even worse if she's not immune. 

Sorry if this is random for its own thread, really hoping anyone else has experience with this. I couldn't find it mentioned in any other threads.

Re: Fifth disease

  • I was exposed during my last pregnancy by a coworker. They did a few blood draws and I wasn't immune, but I didn't contract it either. I just avoided her and asked her not to come by my desk until she no longer had it. 
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  • @emy730 thanks for your feedback. Should I be worried about being at my moms where the child has been?
  • According to Dr. Google,

    The incubation period -- the time that elapses between contracting parvovirus B19 (the virus of fifth disease) and the start of the illness -- is 4 to 12 days. A person infected with parvovirus B19 is only contagious during the early part of the illness, before the rash appears.

    However, I do hope your results come back as being immune, as it does seem risky!
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  • @AlicjaB I know! I'm just scared my mom has caught it as is incubating the damn disease. It's unlikely but possible.
    and also it's very unclear how long the virus can live on surfaces.
    argghhh.... I don't want to make an irresponsible decision.... or an irrationally overly-cautious one.
  • If you were tested today, what are the chances you'll get the results tomorrow? Is it possible to move your flight until Friday night/Saturday morning and then make a decision based on whether you're immune (and whether your mom has developed any symptoms in the meantime)? 

    I was tested for immunity in the first trimester, and am immune, though I have no recollection of ever having fifths disease. I asked my mom about it and  she doesn't remember me having it either, but said it kind of was a big deal when she was pregnant and also around lots of younger or school aged children. Just mentioning that because there is a chance you are immune and don't have to worry about being exposed now. 

    I also read that the biggest concern is before 20 weeks, because if the infection is passed to the baby it could lead to miscarriage. After 20 weeks the chance of the baby being adversely impacted by exposure is apparently pretty low. 

    I totally understand being nervous, but if you don't want to completely cancel the trip and shower you could trust your doctor's advice and take extra precautions while you are there. 
  • @sarag go ahead and be irrationally overly-cautious. Better to be safe than sorry. But don't stress about it too much, that's not good either. I am seeing though that it is VERY rare for the infection to severely harm the baby. Just listen to your OB! :smile:
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  • @KRB22 they seemed to think the results wouldn't be back by tomorrow, I'm really crossing my fingers for Thursday. I should make a final decision by Thursday anyway, if they need to cancel the food/cake/guests I feel that's the minimum amount of time to do so and let people know.
    hopefully my mom has no symptoms by then. Both a pediatrician I spoke to and my OB thought it was unlikely my mom would be the carrier, partly bc it's unlikely she hasn't been immunized by her age.

    @AlicjaB I'm with you about being cautious but as my OB said "go" I feel like it might be safe.

    thanks ladies for your thoughts, this timing is so frustrating:(
    just gotta be grateful I got a healthy babe up to this point and try to navigate this event appropriately.
  • @sarag that makes sense (I was also thinking today was Wednesday for some reason). I had the same thought about your mom being a carrier. Also, not sure how often she sees your niece but if she hadn't  
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