It is always scary when your kid gets sick.  But it is even more scary when the illness lasts for weeks on end.  Area schools are warning parents about the a contagious rash that is spreading among the children called Fifth Disease.

Anytime I hear of a new illness or disease I immediately freak out!  Yesterday on the news, I heard of something called Fifth Disease spreading in area schools and I began instantly cleaning!  My house is now as clean as a hospital if not cleaner.  Having a 4 year old in school with other 4 year olds scares me. Kids are notorious for not washing their hands properly, putting their hands on gross things and of course, spreading germs.

So what is Fifth Disease?  It is a rash caused by Parvovirus B19 and spreads over most of the body.  Fifth disease begins with a low-grade fever, headache, and mild cold-like symptoms (a stuffy or runny nose). These symptoms pass, and the illness seems to be gone until a rash appears a few days later.  Sometimes the symptoms can be worse including swollen glands, red eyes, sore throat, diarrhea, and sometimes the rashes can look like blisters or bruises.

It can last from 1-3 weeks, but for some reason the cases in the area have been lasting for over a month.  AISD has sent out a letter warning parents that the disease has been seen in several children at the schools.

The best thing to do is keep an eye on your kiddos and make sure they are washing their hands properly and using hand sanitizer.

And be extra careful if you're pregnant, doctors say it can cause a fetus to develop severe anemia and in rare cases, even die. One mother caught Fifth Disease within about two weeks of delivery. And that baby actually had very severe symptoms associated with it. The baby had to be transfused multiple times, had enlargement of the liver and spleen.

Be careful and WASH YOUR HANDS!

Here is a video from News Channel 10 about the illness
KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports