The human parvovirus B19 causes parvovirus infection. This is different from the parvovirus seen in dogs and cats, so you can't get the infection from a pet or vice versa.
Human parvovirus infection is most common among elementary school-age children during outbreaks in the winter and spring months, but anyone can become ill with it anytime of the year. It spreads from person to person, just like a cold, often through respiratory secretions and hand-to-hand contact.
The illness is contagious in the week before the rash appears. Once the rash appears, the person with the illness is no longer considered contagious and doesn't need to be isolated.
Apr. 12, 2012
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