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March 1976

Erythema Infectiosum: An Elementary School Outbreak

Author Affiliations

The staff of the Alleghany County Health Department helped in collecting the questionnaire data.
From the Bureau of Epidemiology, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta (Dr Lauer); Epidemiology Section, North Carolina Division of Health Services, Raleigh (Dr MacCormack); and the Department of Pediatrics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC (Dr Wilfert). Dr Lauer is now with the Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Medical Center, Denver.

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(3):252-254. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120040030006

• An outbreak of erythema infectiosum (fifth disease) occurred in a North Carolina elementary school. Because rubella virus has been implicated as a possible cause of some cases of erythema infectiosum, we conducted an investigation to determine if the children were infected with rubella virus and to learn whether or not rubella vaccination prevents the disease. Throat swabs were obtained for viral isolation from 20 children with erythema infectiosum and from 25 healthy classmates; questionnaires were completed for 617 of the school's 817 students. One hundred fifty children (24%) reported having an acute exanthematous illness during the study period, and 45% of the ill children had one or more household contacts with a similar rash. No viruses were recovered from the children, and a history of rubella vaccination did not affect the risk of developing erythema infectiosum.

(Am J Dis Child 130:252-254, 1976)

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