Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us
Adult Health Library
Translate
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Topic IndexLibrary Index
Click a letter to see a list of conditions beginning with that letter.
Click 'Topic Index' to return to the index for the current topic.
Click 'Library Index' to return to the listing of all topics.

Roseola

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 because 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 

  • Irritability

  • 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)

  • Swollen glands

  • Ear pain

  • Decreased appetite

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 consult your child's health care 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, there is no cure for roseola. Treatment may include:

  • Increased fluid intake

  • Dress child with fever in light clothing

  • Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever (Do not give aspirin. Giving aspirin to children may cause a dangerous condition called Reye syndrome.)

Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth, RN, M.Ed.
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 9/3/2014
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Powered By Krames StayWell
Copyright © Krames StayWell except where otherwise noted.
About Us
  • Follow Us On:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Health Hub
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • RSS
  •  
  • Bookmark and Share
© Brigham and Women's Hospital | 75 Francis Street, Boston MA 02115 | 617-732-5500