John Mersch, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Roseola facts
- What is roseola?
- What virus causes roseola?
- How is roseola spread?
- What are roseola symptoms and signs?
- How is the diagnosis of roseola established?
- How high can the fever go with roseola?
- What is the treatment for the fever of roseola?
- Can the fever cause a seizure?
- Is a seizure due to fever dangerous?
- What should I do if my child with roseola has a seizure?
- Is there a rash with roseola?
- What is most remarkable characteristic of roseola?
- What is the course of roseola?
- Are there any complications of roseola?
- Should I take my child to the doctor with roseola?
- When can the child return to child care?
- Is it possible to prevent roseola?
- What is the prognosis for a child with roseola?
- Are there other names for roseola?
- Find a local Pediatrician in your town
How is roseola spread?
Roseola is spread from person to person, typically by transfer of oral secretions. Roseola is not very contagious. The incubation period between exposure to the virus and onset of symptoms is nine to 10 days. Humans are the only natural hosts for HHV-6 and HHV-7. Unlike other viral infections, roseola occurs throughout the year without seasonal variation.
What are roseola symptoms and signs?
The signs and symptoms of HHV-6 (or HHV-7) infection vary depending upon the age of the patient. Infants and toddlers routinely will develop sudden symptoms with a sudden onset of a high fever that lasts for three to five days. The child may also develop irritability, bulging "soft spot" on the head (fontanel), swollen glands in the front or back of the neck, runny nose, puffy eyelids (due to swelling with fluid), and mild diarrhea. Within 12-24 hours of the fever breaking, a rash rapidly appears. Older children who develop HHV-6 (or HHV-7) infection are more likely to have an illness characterized by several days of high fever and possibly a runny nose and/or diarrhea. Older children less commonly develop a rash as the fever abates.
How is the diagnosis of roseola established?
The characteristic clinical pattern of sudden onset of high fever and development of the typical rash at the time of fever resolution generally leads to a diagnosis without any laboratory studies. For unusual presentations, patients with complications or those with immune deficiency states, several forms of blood tests can assist in establishing the diagnosis.
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