Parvovirus B19 infection

Clinical features

• Causes transient reticulocytopenia and (occasionally) neutropenia and thrombocytopenia in otherwise healthy individuals.

• In children with increased red cell turnover for any reason (compensated haemolysis, ineffective erythropoiesis) or those with reduced red cell production (marrow suppression or hypoplasia) can produce dramatic falls in Hb.

• Self-limiting as infection subsides following antibody response, 7—10d.

• In immunosuppressed children (e.g. chemotherapy, HIV) anaemia can occasionally become chronic with persisting viraemia.

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