Roseola (which is sometimes called roseola infantum) is a viral infection. It is quite common and mainly affects young children between the ages of six months and two years. It is usually a mild infection that causes no long-term problems. Full recovery is usual.
Roseola is also known as roseola infantum, exanthematous fever and three-day rash. The disease is common in children aged three months to four years, and most common in those aged six months to one year. It is caused by a virus called human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6). It is a very infectious virus.
Roseola often starts with a sudden high fever (39.4°C) to (40.6°C) 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 and often occurs before you realize that your child has a fever. The fever ends suddenly.
After the fever ends, a rosy-pink rash may appear mostly on the trunk (torso), neck, and arms. The rash is not itchy and may last 1 to 2 days.
You can give paracetamol or ibuprofen. Both of these medicines can lower a temperature.
Take the clothes off the child if the room is normal room temperature. It is wrong to wrap up a feverish child. The aim is to prevent overheating or shivering.
Give lots to drink. This helps to prevent dehydration. You might find that a child is more willing to have a good drink if they are not so irritable. So, if they are not keen to drink, it may help to give some paracetamol or ibuprofen first.
Contact the doctor if:
•Your child's rash gets worse.
•Symptoms (such as a fever, a general feeling of illness, or signs of infection) are severe or become worse.
•Symptoms become so uncomfortable that your child cannot tolerate them.
•A new rash continues longer than 1 week.
•A rash that has been previously diagnosed continues longer than 4 weeks or is not following the expected course.
•Your child's symptoms become more severe or more frequent.
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