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With a pinch of salt
  1. Rob Miller1
  1. 1Balham, London SW12 8JP

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    “Rob, I know you're a doctor—can I have a word about your son.” The reception class nursery nurse's words chilled me to the bone, as Jamie (aged 5) had been off colour for a few days. “I am a bit worried about the rash he has got on his face. Three other children in the class have a similar rash—do you think it is infectious?”

    I looked at the bright red rash on his cheeks and, despite struggling for some time, no diagnosis came …

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    • * Erythema infectiosum, erythema of the cheeks with a slightly raised margin, giving the appearance of a slapped cheek, this is due to parvovirus B19 infection. Erythema infectiosum is also known as fifth disease or slapped cheek syndrome.