Roseola is caused by the human herpesvirus 6 virus and is a common childhood infection. Getting a child diagnosed with roseola, which is also called exanthem subitum or sixth disease, can be confusing for parents though.
After all, it is usually not until a child is getting better that the symptoms become clear and a diagnosis can be made.
Symptoms of Roseola
Children with roseola usually just have a high fever. About three to seven days later, once the fever breaks, kids with roseola get a red or pink raised rash all over their body. This rash usually lasts a few hours to a few days, begins on the trunk and then can spread to the child's arms, legs and face. Unlike many other rashes that kids get, roseola is not itchy.
Some children infected with the virus that causes roseola do have other typical viral symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, swollen glands, irritability, and diarrhea. Other symptoms might include febrile seizures or a bulging fontanel (soft spot).
Diagnosis and Treatments for Roseola
It is the pattern of symptoms, a rash which begins once a fever breaks, that typically makes a pediatrician suspect that a child has roseola. By then though, once the rash appears, the child is already better.
As with many other viral infections, there is no specific treatment for roseola and most kids recover without problems. Fever reducers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can be helpful while your child has a fever.