Roseola rash is a virus infection affecting the infants and young children. It is harmless and targets 6 months to 2 year old children. It begins as high fever which may lasts for 3-5 days. The rash appears on the skin after the fever subsides. Roseola is not contagious and resolves on its own within few weeks.
Virus that causes herpes (Human herpes virus HHV-6) is the main reason for roseola rash. Sometimes HHV-7 also causes roseola.
How far it is contagious?
Roseola virus is not highly contagious and during incubation period, there is chance of getting the virus from infected children. The transfer of virus takes place through saliva and mostly from the initial onset of symptoms till 10 days. There is no particular season for getting this infection and it can infect children spreading illness all through the year.
Symptoms vary from one child to another. Some children will not have any clear symptoms except mild fever but some others will have fever, runny nose, sore throat and rash. It starts as sudden high fever with temperature 102-105 F with sore throat or runny nose. Some children will also develop inflammation on the lymph nodes of neck. The fever may last anywhere from 3-5 days.
The rash begins to appear after the fever has reduced. It would be seen as small dark pink patches on the back, chest region and on the abdomen. For some children it is observed on the arms, legs, face and neck. This rash will not cause any itching sensation unlike other skin rash. Some of the other symptoms of roseola rash are loss of appetite, diarrhea, irritability and swollen eyelids. There is every chance of getting convulsion if the fever is very high. Hence you should give medication for reducing fever to avoid the possibility of seizure.
Who are at risk?
Infants and young children will have weak immune system and hence they are likely to develop roseola rash. Even the child receives antibodies from his mother while he is in the uterus this would eventually fade away after some period. Children of age group from 1-3 years have the risk of getting infected with this virus. Toddlers also have equal risk of developing this infection.
Occasionally the child may develop a seizure due to high fever which may last for few seconds or a minute. You should seek immediate medical care if your child has any of such symptoms. Roseola rash may develop in people who have undergone bone marrow transplant recently or on people with weakened immune system such as those who have developed encephalitis or pneumonia recently.
It can become difficult to detect roseola for your doctor since the symptoms are the same for many other diseases. The child may get high fever due to cold, strep throat, infection. Your doctor will carefully examine the child’s body and wait for the rash to appear. Blood test will be done for checking the count of antibodies.
Ensure that the child is not developing high fever. You can give Tylenol or any other brand of acetaminophen for treating fever. In case if the fever does not reduce after 4 hours you should consult your doctor without any delay. The children have the risk of developing convulsions due to fever called as Febrile seizures if the fever is not reducing. These types of seizures are common among children of age group 1.5 to 3 years old when they develop sudden high fever. Febrile seizures that occur during roseola rash do not cause any harm to the nervous system and no medications are prescribed for managing it.
In case your child has got a seizure with fever do not hesitate to call your pediatrician immediately. The affected child should feel comfortable and should not be covered fully once he/she has developed fever. Do not give aspirin for children to treat fever. You can try giving sponge bath (using plain water) to the child for reducing fever. Some children can develop shivering due to the hot temperature during bath. Hence keep the temperature under control.
Once the fever subsides, the child may develop rashes on his neck and torso (more particularly on his back, abdomen and trunk). It is seen in the form of raised dots somewhat protruding or as flat dark patches. This type of rash does not cause any itching and it will resolve within 4-5 days without giving any treatment. Another interesting feature about roseola rash is that children affected with this disease will not have any kind of discomfort in spite of high fever.
Home Remedies :
Do not send your child to school until the fever/rash completely disappears. Give him/her plenty of rest. Ensure that the child is taking lots of fluids to keep him well hydrated. Giving sponge bath using lukewarm/plain water will help in reducing fever.
Pictures of Roseola :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Roseola
Currently no vaccine is available to prevent roseola rash. The only way to prevent this disease is to keep the child protected and not exposing him to other infected children. Since children will not have strong immunity until they become adult, they are prone to many infections and diseases.