Slapped cheek (also known as fifth disease) is a common childhood illness. It causes bright red cheeks like you've been slapped and a lace-like rash on the body.Slapped cheek most commonly affects children under 10 years of age. Some adults may get it if they are not immune from childhood.
Slapped cheek is passed on in droplets from the respiratory tract of an infected person, mainly by close contact, coughing and sneezing. Once infected the time until symptoms appear is between 4 and 20 days. If you catch slapped cheek, you'll be infectious for 5 or 6 days before the first symptom appears. You'll stop being infectious once the rash appears.
Slapped cheek rapidly spreads through schools and childcare facilities and is most common during winter and spring.