Roseola

(Exanthem Subitum; Roseola Infantum)

Definition

Roseola is an infection characterized by a sudden onset of high fever followed by a rash. The infection usually ends on its own without complications.
Roseola
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Causes

Roseola is usually caused by specific herpes viruses. These viruses are not the same as the herpes viruses that cause cold sores or genital herpes .

Risk Factors

Roseola is more common in children aged 6 months to 3 years (6-15 months is most common), and during the spring and fall months. Contact with an infected child is rarely reported.

Symptoms

Roseola may cause:
  • Fever
    • 103°F to 105°F
    • Begins suddenlyand is not associated with other symptoms
    • Lasts 3 days,sometimes a day or two longer
  • Convulsions may occur in association with high fever in up to 5% to 10% of children
  • A rash that develops 12-24 hours after the fever
    • Appears on the chest and abdomen first
    • Rose-colored
    • May spread to arms, legs, neck, and face
    • Lasts for a few hours to a few daysand does not itch
  • Other symptoms or signs may include:
    • Swelling of lymph nodes in the neck and behind the ears
    • Irritability
    • Poor appetite
    • Upper respiratory tract infection symptoms that may occur before the fever
The appearance of a rash after the fever disappears is the characteristic sign of roseola.

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