Roseola is a viral infection. It starts with a sudden, high fever followed by a rash.
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Certain herpes viruses cause roseola. These are different than those that cause cold sores . Your child gets it from the saliva of people who carry the infection. This can happen through kissing or other close contact.
Roseola is more common in children under 3 years old. Older siblings in the same home make the chances of infection higher.
Common symptoms include:
A sudden, high fever:
- 103°F-105°F (39.4°C-40.5°C)—may cause seizures in some children
- Lasts 3-5 days
A rose-colored rash:
- Starts within 3 days after the fever stops
- Appears on the chest and abdomen first, then may spread
- Lasts for a few hours to a few days and does not itch
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Poor appetite
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. The presence of a rash after a high fever is a sign of the illness. The doctor diagnose it with this information and a physical exam. Testing is not required.
Roseola goes away on its own without problems. The focus of care is to ease symptoms. Medicines help lower your child’s fever.
Note : Don’t use aspirin for children who have or had a viral infection. Check with the doctor before giving your child aspirin.
To lower your child’s chances of roseola:
- Wash your hands often .
- Keep them away from other children who have it.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians https://familydoctor.org
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics https://www.healthychildren.org
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Roseola. Nemour Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/roseola.html. Updated January 2015. Accessed May 21, 2018.
Roseola. Patient website. Available at: https://patient.info/health/viral-rashes/roseola. Updated March 9, 2018. Accessed May 21, 2018.
Roseola infantum. Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/skin/Pages/Roseola-Infantum.aspx. Updated November 21, 2015. Accessed May 21, 2018.
Roseola infantum. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115041/Roseola-infantum . Updated August 20, 2015. Accessed May 21, 2018.
- Reviewer: David L. Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 05/2018
- Update Date: 05/21/2018