23 children suffering from Slapped Cheek Syndrome
The Ministry for Health has been informed of 23 children suffering from slapped cheek syndrome since the beginning of this year from various localities in Malta.
Slapped cheek syndrome is a viral infection that is most common in children mainly, although it can affect anyone of any age. This is caused by a virus called a parvovirus which is spread in much the same way as the cold or flu viruses through infected secretions from the nose and throat. Most children will not need treatment as slapped cheek syndrome is usually a very mild condition that passes in a few days.
Prevention of spread is by frequent hand washing.
If a pregnant woman acquires the infection before 20 weeks of pregnancy, as might happen in other infections during this stage of pregnancy, there is a slightly higher risk of miscarriage. In such a case where a pregnant woman is exposed to an infected child she should consult her gynaecologist for necessary investigations.
The Ministry for Health said there is no need for alarm and is raising awareness about this condition among the population and among parents of children where specific cases have been identified.