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'Slapcheek' Virus

There has been a child diagnosed with Slapped Cheek in school.

This is not a dangerous virus to children, however it is to pregnant women and those with a blood disorder. This is why we are notifying you, so please see below for further information:


What to do if you or your child has slapped cheek

Slapped cheek syndrome is usually mild and should clear up without specific treatment.

If you or your child is feeling unwell, you can try the following to ease the symptoms:

  • rest and drink plenty of fluids – babies should continue their normal feeds
  • for a fever, headaches or joint pain, you can take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen – children under 16 shouldn't take aspirin
  • to reduce itchiness, you can take antihistamines or use an emollient (moisturising lotion) – some antihistamines are not suitable for young children, so check with your pharmacist first

Unless you or your child is feeling unwell, there’s no need to stay away from school or work once the rash has developed, as the infection is no longer contagious by this point.

It's a good idea to notify your child's school about the infection, so children who develop early symptoms can be spotted quickly and vulnerable people can be made aware that they may need to get medical advice.

Slapped cheek syndrome (also called fifth disease or parvovirus B19) is a viral infection that's most common in children, although it can affect people of any age. It usually causes a bright red rash to develop on the cheeks.

Although the rash can look alarming, slapped cheek syndrome is normally a mild infection that clears up by itself in one to three weeks. Once you've had the infection, you're usually immune to it for life.

However, slapped cheek syndrome can be more serious for some people. If you're pregnant, have a blood disorder or a weakened immune system and have been exposed to the virus, you should get medical advice.