Aplastic crises in homozygous sickle cell disease in Jamaica predominantly affect children and occur in epidemics. Of 67 cases in a cohort study of 314 children with homozygous sickle cell disease, 62 were attributable to human parvovirus infection. Affected children were aged 0.5-12.5 years, and the incidence rose to 28% by 10 years. No recurrences were seen. Symptoms and signs on presentation were attributable to the viraemia and acute anaemia. Asymptomatic thrombocytopenia was common. Blood transfusion was given in 54 cases (87%). Thirty eight children (61%) were admitted to hospital, 16 of whom were extremely ill on presentation and one of whom died soon after admission. Twenty four (39%) were managed as outpatients, 16 of whom were transfused. Parvovirus associated aplastic crisis is a self limited condition with excellent prognosis if diagnosed promptly and managed appropriately.
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