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Roseola

(Exanthem Subitum; Roseola Infantum)

Definition

Roseola is an infection characterized by a sudden onset of high fever followed by a rash. The infection usually ends on its own without complications.
Roseola
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Causes

Roseola is usually caused by a specific herpes viruses. These viruses are not the same as the herpes viruses that cause cold sores or genital herpes .

Risk Factors

Roseola is more common in children aged 6 months to 3 years (6-15 months is most common), and during the spring and fall months. Contact with an infected child is rarely reported.

Symptoms

Roseola may cause:
The appearance of a rash after the fever disappears is the characteristic sign of roseola.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Usually other tests are not needed. Often, there is a history of other children with roseola in the community.

Treatment

No treatment is needed for roseola unless the child has a weakened immune system. The most important treatment is to keep the fever down and drink plenty of fluids.
Talk to your doctor about how to bring the fever down through:
Call your doctor if your child has a seizure and/or the fever persists.

Prevention

To help prevent the spread of roseola, avoid contact with an infected child when possible. The incubation period is 5-15 days. The virus is thought to be spread by contact with infected saliva. Carefully and frequently wash your hands to help prevent the spread of roseola.

RESOURCES

Family Doctor - American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org

Healthy Children - American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES

About Kids Health http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca

Alberta Health http://www.health.alberta.ca

References

Roseola infantum. American Academy of Pediatricians Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/skin/Pages/Roseola-Infantum.aspx. Updated May 11, 2013. Accessed August 5, 2013.

Roseola. Nemours' Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/roseola.html. Updated July 2012. Accessed August 5, 2013.

Revision Information