Roseola is a viral infection that predominantly affects infants and children. It is characterized by skin rash and high fever. The following article provides the detailed information regarding the causes, treatment, and prevention of roseola.
Roseola is an acute infection most commonly found in children between the age of 6 and 24 months. Generally, it is a mild infection, and there are no symptoms at all, in some cases. However, some children may develop symptoms like skin rash and high fever. However, there is a complete recovery within a few days without any complications. This infection can occur anytime during the year. It is rarely observed in adults. Given below are the causes, symptoms, and treatment of roseola.
Roseola is a viral infection caused by two common forms of herpes viruses, namely Human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) and human herpes virus 7 (HHV-7). The main mode of transmission is through oral secretions. The virus spreads through sneezing, coughing, and saliva. Children with a weak immune system are at a higher risk of infection.
Signs and Symptoms
It takes about 8-10 days for the onset of the symptoms after exposure to the virus. A sudden onset of high temperature is the primary symptom of roseola. This infection is contagious, when the child has a high fever. Fever may rise up to 103.5 degree F (39.7 degree C)-106 degree F (41.2 degree C). This high fever may persist for 4-5 days. It is accompanied with other symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat, mild diarrhea, loss of appetite, puffy eyelids, swollen lymph nodes, irritability, and fatigue. Once the fever reduces, a skin rash appears in the form of red or pink spots with a white ring around them. The rash turns white, when pressed. This rash appears on the face and arms, and resolves in 2-3 days.
In some rare cases, high fever due to roseola can lead to seizures. About 5-35% of children between 18 months and 3 years of age may suffer from febrile seizures. However, it is not dangerous, and does not affect the nervous system.
Roseola is difficult to diagnose in its initial stage, because its early signs and symptoms resemble other childhood infections like strep throat, flu, or common cold. The diagnosis is done on the basis of physical examination of the skin rash, and swollen lymph nodes.
A child suffering from roseola usually recovers completely without any specific treatment. However, over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be administered to reduce fever, but after consulting an appropriate medical professional. Aspirin is not recommended for younger children, as it can increase the risk of Reye’s syndrome in children. No medical treatment is required for the skin rash.
Due to fever and fatigue, the child tends to become restless. Therefore, plenty of rest is essential for the child. Encourage the child to have adequate amounts of fluids like water, electrolyte solution, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale in order to prevent dehydration.
Since there is no vaccine available, the only way to prevent roseola is to avoid any exposure to the virus. Keep your child away from an infected person. Maintaining proper hygiene is very important for the prevention of this infection.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.