What is roseola?
Roseola is a contagious viral illness that results a high fever and a rash that develops as the fever resolves. The disease is also called roseola infantum or sixth disease. It most commonly affects children under 2 years of age.
What are the symptoms of roseola?
It may take between 5 to 15 days for a child to develop symptoms of roseola after being exposed to the virus. A child is probably most contagious during the period of high fever, before the rash occurs. The following are the most common symptoms of roseola:
High fever that starts suddenly
Fever may reach 105°F
Fever lasts 3 to 5 days and then abruptly goes away
Swelling of the eyelids
Rash (as the fever decreases, a pink rash, with either flat or raised rash, starts to appear on the abdomen and then spreads to the face, arms, and legs)
Febrile seizures are relatively common in children with roseola. Febrile seizures occur when a child's temperature rises rapidly. While febrile seizures are generally not harmful, they can be very scary. Not every child with a high temperature is at risk for a febrile seizure. Febrile seizures occur in about 3% of children under the age of 5 and may run in families.
The symptoms of roseola may look like other skin conditions or medical problems. Always see your child's healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is roseola diagnosed?
Roseola is usually diagnosed based on a medical history and physical exam of your child. The rash of roseola that follows a high fever is unique to roseola.
What is the treatment for roseola?
The goal of treatment for roseola is to help decrease the severity of the symptoms. Since it is a viral infection, antibiotics are not helpful. Treatment may include: