parvovirus B19

Parvovirus B19 is the causative virus for the usually harmless Fifth Disease. It has a particular affinity for certain cells in the bone marrow that produce red cells. This is not a problem in healthy children, but infections with the virus in a child who suffers from diseases that involve either decreased production of red cells or increased destruction of red cells (for an example of the latter, sickle cell anemia) a sudden critical anemia may develop which might require supportive care to include blood transfusion.

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