IT’S commonly called ‘slapped cheek syndrome’, but the correct name for a common childhood infection is parvovirus B19.
It usually causes a mild self-limiting illness. However, it is important to identify it as it can cause complications in pregnancy and also among people who are immunocompromised or who have hemoglobinopathies, such as sickle cell disease.
There is no specific treatment for parvovirus B19, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre says. However, it is important that pregnant women who have been exposed to parvovirus B19 are investigated even if they are asymptomatic, as there may be associated risks to the developing foetus. Increases in infection are seen in late spring and early summer.