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Parvovirus B19 infects only humans. It can cause different signs and symptoms, depending on your age and overall health. Parvovirus B19 infection most commonly causes fifth disease, a mild rash illness that usually affects children. Many people infected with parvovirus B19 do not have any symptoms, or they have only mild, nonspecific illness.


Parvovirus B19 Infects Only Humans

Pet dogs and cats can get infected with other parvoviruses that do not infect humans. Pets can be vaccinated to prevent infection from such parvoviruses.

Since parvovirus B19 infects only humans, a person cannot catch the virus from a dog or cat. Also, a cat or dog cannot catch parvovirus B19 from an infected person.

Parvovirus B19 and Other Illnesses

Parvovirus B19 can cause severe anemia.

This is not very common, but can be serious for people with

  • weakened immune systems
  • sickle cell disease or similar long-lasting anemia


Symptoms of Fifth Disease

Fifth disease commonly affects children. The first symptoms may include

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Headache

It typically causes a "slapped cheek" rash on the face—the most recognized feature of fifth disease.

Some people may also have painful or swollen joints, which is more common in adults.