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April 5, 1965

Erythema Infectiosum

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn.

JAMA. 1965;192(1):58-60. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080140064021

ERYTHEMA INFECTIOSUM is an acute communicable disease characterized by the abrupt appearance of a fiery-red exanthem on the cheeks, which spreads to the rest of the body, disappears and reappears intermittently, and vanishes after a few days or weeks. It is occasionally associated with mild constitutional symptoms. This benign disease, which usually involves children from 3 to 12 years of age, is recognized infrequently unless it occurs in epidemics.

It is of interest that in such comprehensive textbooks of pediatrics as Nelson (ed 7, 1959) and Holt and McIntosh (ed 13, 1962) this disease is not listed in the index. Since many physicians are unfamiliar with this disease, it is the purpose of this paper to describe the clinical picture and some of the epidemiologic aspects of erythema infectiosum.

Historical Note  This disease was first reported by Tschamer1 in 1889, and up until 1941 there were about 50 epidemics reported,

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