Roseola is a generally mild infection that usually affects children by age 2. Roseola often starts with a sudden high fever (103°F to 105°F) that lasts 2 to 3 days, although it can last up to 8 days. The rapid increase in temperature may be the first sign of Roseola. Within 12-24 hours of the fever breaking, a rosy-pink rash may appear mostly on the torso, neck, and arms. The rash is not itchy and may last 1 to 2 days.
Some children develop only a very mild case of Roseola and never show any clear indication of illness, while others experience the full range of symptoms. Older children who develop the infection are more likely to have an illness characterized by several days of high fever and possibly a runny nose and diarrhea.
There is no specific vaccine against or treatment for Roseola / Exanthema Subitum, and most children with the disease are not seriously ill.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and cool sponge baths can help reduce the fever.
What causes Roseola?
Roseola is primarily caused by a virus called human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and less commonly by human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7). They spread through tiny droplets of fluid from the nose and throat of infected people when they sneeze, cough, or talk. Roseola mostly spreads from infected people who don’t show symptoms. The viruses belong to the family of herpes viruses, but they do not cause cold sores or genital infections that herpes viruses can cause.