July 24, 2016
font size

Definition of Roseola

Roseola: Roseola is a childhood illness caused by virus infection characterized by high fevers followed by a skin rash.

Roseola is also formally called roseola infantum or roseola infantilis.

The following is a brief summary of roseola:

Cause: Roseola is caused by a virus called human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and, possibly, human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7).

Age range: Roseola is most common in children 6 months to 24 months of age.

Spread: Roseola is spread from person to person, but it is not known how. Roseola is not very contagious.

Initial symptoms: These include a high fever that lasts for 3 to 5 days, runny nose, irritability, eyelid swelling, and tiredness.

The rash: When the fever disappears, a rash appears. The rash is mainly on the face and body.

Course: The rash lasts for about 24 to 48 hours. Roseola usually goes away without any treatment.

Complications of roseola are rare.

Seeing the doctor: A child with fever and rash should be excluded from child care until seen by a healthcare provider.

Return to child care: A child with rash and no fever may usually return to child care.

Because the rash appears so suddenly (right after the fever dramatically departs), the disease is also sometimes called exanthem subitum.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations