What is roseola?
Roseola (roseola infantum) is a mild illness caused by
virus. It is generally harmless and is most common in
children 6 months to 2 years of age. It is rare after age 4.
What causes roseola?
Roseola is caused by two
common viruses. The viruses belong to the family of herpes viruses, but they do
not cause the cold sores or genital infections that herpes simplex viruses can
cause. They are spread through tiny droplets of fluid from the nose and throat
of infected people when they laugh, talk, sneeze, or cough. Roseola mostly
spreads from infected people who don't show symptoms.
child has roseola, keep him or her at home until there has been no fever for 24
hours and he or she is feeling better.
What are the symptoms?
starts with a sudden high fever [103°F (39.4°C) to
105°F (40.6°C)] that lasts 2 to
3 days, although it can last up to 8 days. The rapid increase in temperature
may be the first sign of roseola and often occurs before you realize that your
child has a fever. The fever ends suddenly.
After the fever ends,
a rosy-pink rash may appear mostly on the trunk (torso), neck, and arms. The
rash is not itchy and may last 1 to 2 days.
In rare cases, a sore
throat, stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea occur.
A child with
roseola may appear fussy or irritable and may have a decreased appetite, but
most children behave almost normally.
How is roseola diagnosed?
Roseola is diagnosed
through a medical history and physical exam. The doctor often knows it's
roseola if your child had a fever and now has a distinct rash.
How is it treated?
The roseola fever can be
managed with acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), ibuprofen (such as Advil or
Motrin), or sponge baths. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor's advice about what amount to give. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 years
of age because of the risk of
The roseola rash will go
away without medical treatment.