Parvovirus and anemia

Parvovirus infection can cause serious complications for people with anemia, a condition in which red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all the parts of your body, are used up faster than your bone marrow can replace them. Parvovirus infection in people with anemia may stop the production of red blood cells and cause an anemia crisis. People with sickle cell anemia are at particular risk.

Parvovirus can also cause anemia and related complications in:

  • The unborn children of women infected with parvovirus during pregnancy
  • People who have weakened immune systems

Parvovirus infection in pregnancy

Parvovirus infection during pregnancy sometimes affects red blood cells in the fetus, causing a severe anemia that could lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. Fetal risk appears greatest during the first half of the pregnancy. Treatment options include a blood transfusion directly to your fetus or giving you medications that pass through the placenta to your fetus.

Parvovirus in people with weakened immune systems

Parvovirus infection can also trigger severe anemia in people who have compromised immune systems, which may result from:

  • AIDS
  • Cancer treatments
  • Anti-rejection drugs used after organ transplants
Apr. 12, 2012