Parvovirus infections can make sickle cell anemia and other hemolytic anemias, much worse. This complication may lead to an aplastic crisis in which blood counts drop to dangerously low levels. This can happen to the fetus when a pregnant woman has a parvovirus infection. The fetus can develop heart failure related to the low blood counts. This condition is called hydrops fetalis and can cause fetal death. Transfusions are often needed in the fetus or child with aplastic crisis.
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