UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Infectious Disease

Title: The Numbered Skin Rashes

Keywords: Dermatology, Rash, (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/17/2008 by Michael Bond, MD (Updated: 7/14/2024)
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Most of use remember that Fifth disease is a viral infection presenting with a distinctive rash (slapped check) caused by Parvovirus B19.  But do you know the numbering of the other six Contagious Illnesses that are associated with rashes:

  1. First Disease – Measles caused by the rubeola virus
  2. Second Disease – Scarlet Fever caused by Streptococcus pyogenes Group A
  3. Third Disease – German Measles caused by rubella virus
  4. Fourth Disease – Dukes Disease – In the late 1880-1900’s it was widely published about but in the 1960’s it was not proven to exist by either epidemiologic criteria or isolation of an etiologic agent.  Now felt to be a mild form of scarlet fever.  Some reports of it being caused by a Coxsackvirus or Echovirus
  5. Fifth Disease - Erythema infectiosum caused by Parvovirus B19. Slapped Check
  6. Sixth Disease - Exanthem subitum (meaning sudden rash), also referred to as roseola infantum (or rose rash of infants), sixth disease. Presents as rapid onset high fever, followed by a fine red rash when the fever subsides. Caused by Herpes Virus 6.