Slapped Check most commonly occurs in children aged from 3 to 15 years, but anyone can be affected and it is an infection caused by the parvovirus B19 virus.

Slapped Cheek Syndrome although a mild virus it is easily transmitted through droplets sneezed or coughed out by infected children. Therefore we urge you not to send children to school if they have 2 or more of the following symptoms;

  • Temperature (Main symptom)
  • Headache
  • Sore throat/Cold like symptoms
  • Muscle pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy

The next stage will be the rash, which will typically look like a red scald to one or both cheeks and may become blotchy. The rash can spread to the body, arms and the legs.

The incubation period (4-20 days) is usually before the rash appears; children should not return to school until the above symptoms have subsided.


As the fifth disease is a virus it cannot be treated with anti-biotics. Over the counter anti-pyretics can be used for a temperature and anti-histamines if the rash becomes itchy.

If a pregnant woman has been exposed to slapped cheek syndrome, she needs to go to her doctor straight away especially if they are in their first or second trimester.