Roseola is an infection caused by a virus. It is characterized by a sudden onset of high fever followed by a rash. The infection usually ends on its own without complications.
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Roseola is usually caused by a virus called human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6). It can also be caused by human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7). These viruses are not the same as the herpes viruses that cause cold sores or genital herpes.
Factors that increase the chance of roseola include:
Symptoms of roseola include:
The appearance of a rash after the fever disappears is the characteristic sign of roseola.
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.
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.
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Pediatrics
About Kids Health
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' KidsHealth website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/roseola.html. Updated July 2012. Accessed August 5, 2013.
Last reviewed August 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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