Research and analysis

Parvovirus B19 activity in England and Wales

Laboratory reports of parvovirus B19, and related epidemiological reports, in England and Wales.


Increased parvovirus B19 activity in England and Wales

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Parvovirus B19 causes the common childhood illness, erythema infectiosum or fifth disease (also known as ‘slapped cheek’) which is generally a mild febrile illness. However, the infection can be more serious in patients with increased red blood cell turnover infection, particularly in pregnant women, immunocompromised patients and patients who suffer from blood disorders.

Infection in the UK is seasonal, peaking in spring and early summer, with 3 to 4 year cycles of increased incidence being noted.

Published 26 May 2017