What are the effects of Parvo in humans?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I have a son-in-law that has been diagnosed with Parvo, He had a small sore between his big toe and second toe from wearing flip-flops while on vacation at the beach. He complained that it was extremely sore, and a short time later he developed a very sore elbow with redness and swelling, also painful. He does have high blood pressure also. I am very concerned for his health. I do know this is a disease for dogs, and fatal, but what are the effects of Parvo in humans?

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Parvo is a virus that can produce pain, rashes, and itching in humans.  It generally effects the immune system, and commonly will go away on its own.  However, some people who already have immune system problems do develop severe infections with fevers and anemia, but this is rare.  Treatment for Parvo is usually to help the symptoms only, as there is no cure.

Your son in law may have this virus, but it will probably go away in a month or so, and not cause him any other health problems.  I do not think his high blood pressure had anything to do with him getting this virus.  The virus is actually quite common, especially in children.  It is spread from person to person (not from dogs), as we get infected with a different strain than animals.  Fortunately for humans, it is not as serious as the strain dogs get.