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Inherited Disorders and Birth Defects

Spherocytosis

11/06/2007

Question:

My 5 year old grandaughter has hereditary Spherocytosis.We have been warned not to let her come into contact with the Fifth disease a member of the measel family .Can you give us pacifics about this? Thank You

Answer:

Hereditary spherocytosis (HS) is an inherited disease that affects the red blood cells by changing their normal shape and increasing the chance that the red blood cells will break open and release hemoglobin into the tissues which leads to anemia.

Fifth disease is caused by a virus called B19 human parvovirus - it is one of several diseases caused by this virus. If someone has HS and gets an infection with parvovirus (Fifth disease) it can lead to a rapid fall in that person's hemoglobin level, which can cause very serious anemia problems.

Your granddaughter's pediatrician is the best person to advise her family about preventing exposures to such viruses as parvovirus.

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Response by:

Anne   Matthews, RN, PhD Anne Matthews, RN, PhD
Associate Professor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University