Patient information: See related handout on parvovirus B19 , written by the authors of this article. Although most persons with parvovirus B19 infection are asymptomatic or have mild, nonspecific, cold-like symptoms, several clinical conditions have been linked to the virus. The virus is highly infectious and spreads mainly through respiratory droplets. By the time the rash appears, the virus is no longer infectious. Parvovirus B19 infection can trigger an acute cessation of red blood cell production, causing transient aplastic crisis, chronic red cell aplasia, hydrops fetalis, or congenital anemia.
Secondary Symptomatic Parvovirus B19 Infection in a Healthy Adult
Parvovirus infection - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
Parvovirus B19 is a common infection in adults and children. There are reports of secondary parvovirus infection in immunocompromised persons, but no reports of symptomatic secondary infection in healthy persons. We describe a healthy year-old woman who presented with fever, rash, and arthralgia. On a subsequent visit she related that a community outbreak of parvovirus developed in her town and church group. We believe this case demonstrates that a symptomatic secondary infection with parvovirus can occur in healthy persons, and that prior positive antibody test does not preclude the development of acute infection. In adults, the clinical syndrome can include fever, rash, and symmetric peripheral arthropathy, and is generally self-limited.
Parvovirus B19 infects only humans. You can have a range of symptoms depending on your age and overall health. About two out of 10 people who get infected with this virus will have no symptoms.
When the polyarthritis is symmetric and chronic, it can mimic rheumatoid arthritis. Infection during pregnancy can result in hydrops fetalis and congenital anemia. Parvovirus B19 has been only identified in humans. The active mitotic activity seen in the bone marrow is critical for the virus to replicate, thus the clinical manifestations often observed involving red cell lineage.