See? Sickness *can* be fun & games

Let’s play a game.  A friend of mine played the same game on her blog yesterday.  Wait!  Don’t click yet, because her readers already guessed.

Can you name the disease?  Symptoms can vary, but here’s what our primary sufferer was displaying over the weekend:

  • headache
  • achiness & general malaise
  • mild fever?

Those symptoms passed after a day or two, and we thought she was better.  But – alas! – today she woke up with:

  • puffy face and hands
  • itch all over
  • upon closer inspection, we think she has a very mild mottled rash over much of her body – like the mottling you see when somebody is cold.

Clue: this disease has 2 common names.  One name describes a symptom usually displayed by young children, but not present in our sufferer.

Quite honestly, I thought all of our children had already had this disease when they were younger, but since typically it’s a one-and-out I must be wrong.  Now I’m wondering: how many other times am I wrong?  Will it sweep through the household?  Is it already?


  1. In reading this I thought of something that I had a few months ago. I had had a sore throat and maybe a runny nose (I don’t remember). It had gone but the next day I was sitting doing my homework and I got really itchy. It was very annoying and mainly on my arms and my face. It also stayed in those places and became red. I told my mom and she called the doctor thinking it might be strep. We went in but by the time we got there the rash was better. He tested me for strep and it was negative. So we went home. When we got back the itching came back and now there were little red bumps all over the spots. My mom called back to the doctor thinking it might be measles or something. The nurse said it wasn’t and I probably just had a virus. The spots kept appearing off and on for a couple weeks. Does anyone who has had experience with slap cheek know if I could have had it? It just sounds a lot like it.


  2. Oh, now that I’ve caught up reading, I know the case is solved. Oops, my bad for not seeing that before. 🙂

  3. My guess is Roseola, too. I’ve had it twice and Katie had it as a baby.

  4. It’s 5th disease or “Slap face” sickness. My son had it when he was small and I had to look it up on the internet cause no one in Mongolia had a clue!

    Melanie in Mongolia

  5. homemakerang says:

    I PROMISE i didnt cheat. sound like scarlet fever to me…

    i am currently on my almost deathbed for I do not want to confess the actual one…

  6. Karen,
    We haven’t done chicken pox since 7yo Becca had her first bday. Now we’ve got 3 new kids. Maybe we’ll just drop in on you next time we’re in the neighborhood…

  7. We’ve got chicken pox here…anyone want some?

  8. Kim,
    Yup, BTDT. Only with the oldest two kids, though. We haven’t had it in awhile. Should we come visit you and get it over with? I don’t think you’re far away. 😉

  9. OOOh! Our neighbor girl had “slap cheek” last year; I’d never heard of it before and figured it was a British thing. ha.

  10. Cynthia,
    Thanks. I knew it had yet another name but didn’t take the trouble to learn that one. 🙂

    It sounds like you’ve been there, done that too – like Sharri above!
    It’s really a common sickness, and very mild if the kids are sensible enough to get it while very young. Poor Kait is 14, and had a rather rough time with the first phase.
    My friend is in her 40’s and felt horrible for several days. She’s still in a fair amount of pain.

  11. Without looking at the previous comments, I’m guessing Fifth’s Disease.
    Am I right?

  12. Been there, done this…Fifth Disease

  13. Wow I have never heard of this. I even looked it up.

    I learned something today! Guess I should now get out of bed and go teach my children now! LOL

  14. Hi Kim,
    fyi…. just so you know… “Fifth Disease” is also known as ” erythema infectiousum”.

  15. I should have noticed that “itchy” was one of the symptoms. Roseola doesn’t itch!

  16. Mrs. Pear,
    You got it. Yesterday’s birthday girl has Fifth Disease today, also known as Slap Cheek. I noticed just a moment ago that 9yo Natalie has it as well, and I expect Baby Bethany to get it soon. Beyond them, I can’t remember who has already had it, though I think *most* of the children have.

  17. Jessica says:

    The other name for 5th disease is hand, foot, and mouth disease, isn’t it?

  18. One of my daughter’s friends had Fifths Disease when I was pregnant with my 3rd child. The doctor said that the rash gets worse with sunlight. It is very dangerous for pregnant women. The doctor tested me several times to make sure I did not have it. It can cause heart problems in the baby. If I had tested positive for the disease the doctor said that the AMA treatment was ultrasounds about every two weeks to monitor the baby.

  19. Mrs.Pear says:

    oh – slapped cheeks!

    We had that…not fun, but better than rotavirus!

  20. Hint: it’s not chicken pox. And the other name is very self-explanatory. People who haven’t heard of it usually grin uncomfortably, as though you made a mean joke.

  21. Mrs.Pear says:

    did you mean varicella?

  22. Several here had the right answer, but nobody has mentioned the 2nd common name – the one that describes a symptom most common in young children.
    Anyone? Anyone?

  23. Is it chicken pox?

  24. Roseola would be my guess. I remember being so impressed when my son’s doctor figured this one out based on my complaint that my son had spiked a fever completely randomly.

    He told me I would see a rash in a few days, and lo and behold, I did.

    Now I know that it is increadibly common and not something to write home about for most kids, but at the time I was impressed!

  25. I would say chicken pox too. I don’t think it sounds like the others that are suggested because I think you can have the others more than once. I had chicken pox when I was young, then I had shingles (comes from the same virus as chicken pox) 6 months after my third child was born, while I was pregnant with my fourth child I came down with Bells Palsy (comes from the same virus). I think Ihae had everything associated with that virus now!

  26. Sounds like 5th disease to me!

  27. Roseola , I know I spelled that wrong. I think it is also known as 5th disease. The fever first, goes away, then the rash!

  28. Oh, and it’s the right time of year for chicken pox too! I know I had mine in April. Too bad you all weren’t vaccinated. – just kidding;) Hope everyone feels better soon!

  29. 5ths disease?

    I had this when I was 6 weeks pregnant. It is very dangerous for pregnant women. I am now 20 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby girl. Praise the Lord!

  30. It sounds like Roseola to me. I always thought they could only get it once, kinda like the chicken pox. I think all of mine have had it once. The rash seems to show up after the fever is gone.

  31. Is it chicken pox?

Don't just think it: say it!

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