Medical Q&As

Slapped face syndrome - explain?

My nephew woke one morning with swelling on his face and a rash. He was initially treated for an allergy, but the symptoms stayed. The doctor then did a urine test to out rule the possibility of a urinary infection but this was also clear. He was eventually diagnosed with "slapped face syndrome", a form of viral infection. What is "slapped face syndrome"? I cannot find any information on it.

Slapped face syndrome is a viral infection that gets its name from the rash on the cheeks that looks almost as if the face has been slapped. It is caused by the human parvovirus. The rash begins on the cheeks and then spreads onto the neck, trunk and limbs. It can come and go for several weeks. Many people have no other symptoms apart from the rash but some do have associated flu like symptoms. These may include fever, headache, muscle aches, cough and some sufferers may have a runny nose. It is usually experienced as a mild illness and it usually subsides spontaneously without complications. The virus is spread by droplet from coughing or sneezing just like the common cold. Once the rash appears the person is no longer infectious. The incubation period can extend from 4 to 20 days. The diagnosis can be confirmed by performing a blood test that indicates the presence of human parvovirus. Once the infection has subsided immunity against the disease is life long.