Roseola is caused by human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6) - almost all children have been infected by the age of two
Roseola is caused by infection with a virus called human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6). Almost all children have been infected with HHV-6 by the age of 2 years.
Roseola is likely spread by direct contact with the saliva of an infected person, frequently from mother to infant. It is also spread from mother to child during birth.
Symptoms include the sudden onset of a high fever that lasts 3 to 5 days and then falls, at which time a rash appears. The rash looks similar to the measles rash, but appears first on the body rather than the face. Roseola is usually a mild illness, although it can lead to seizures (fits) caused by the high fever.
Diagnosis is made by clinical presentation.
(time between becoming infected and developing symptoms)
About 10 days.
(time during which an infected person can infect others)
Saliva, nasal and throat secretions are most infectious from a few days before until several days after the rash appears.
No specific antiviral therapy is required. Fever may be treated with paracetamol. Aspirin should not be given to children under 12 years of age unless specifically recommended by a doctor.