Jeanette Lepinski, MSN, RN, CIC Director of Infection Prevention & Control

Sinai Health System
Chicago, IL

October 2, 2014


Human parvovirus B19 is an enterovirus and the causative agent of erythema infectiosum. This illness, with its characteristic rash, commonly occurs during childhood and produces long-lasting immunity. Often, outbreaks are cyclical, lasting 1 or more years, with 3 or more years of low-level activity. Transmission likely occurs by the droplet mode. Additionally, vertical and parenteral transmission have been reported. The illness is generally mild and self-limited. The typical "slapped cheek" rash develops when the virus can no longer be isolated from respiratory secretions. The risk for transmission is minimized with appropriate infection prevention practices, such as hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and Droplet Precautions.