Roseola (cont.)

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How is roseola spread?

Roseola is spread from person to person, typically by transfer of oral secretions. Roseola is not very contagious. The incubation period between exposure to the virus and onset of symptoms is nine to 10 days. Humans are the only natural hosts for HHV-6 and HHV-7. Unlike other viral infections, roseola occurs throughout the year without seasonal variation.

What are roseola symptoms and signs?

The signs and symptoms of HHV-6 (or HHV-7) infection vary depending upon the age of the patient. Infants and toddlers routinely will develop sudden symptoms with a sudden onset of a high fever that lasts for three to five days. The child may also develop irritability, bulging "soft spot" on the head (fontanel), swollen glands in the front or back of the neck, runny nose, puffy eyelids (due to swelling with fluid), and mild diarrhea. Within 12-24 hours of the fever breaking, a rash rapidly appears. Older children who develop HHV-6 (or HHV-7) infection are more likely to have an illness characterized by several days of high fever and possibly a runny nose and/or diarrhea. Older children less commonly develop a rash as the fever abates.

How is the diagnosis of roseola established?

The characteristic clinical pattern of sudden onset of high fever and development of the typical rash at the time of fever resolution generally leads to a diagnosis without any laboratory studies. For unusual presentations, patients with complications or those with immune deficiency states, several forms of blood tests can assist in establishing the diagnosis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/15/2014

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Roseola - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with roseola.
Roseola - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms you experienced with roseola?
Roseola - Children and Seizures Question: Did your child have a roseola related-seizure? What did you do?
Roseola - Children and Rashes Question: Describe the appearance and timing of the rash when your child had roseola.
Roseola - Contacting a Doctor Question: What was it about your child's illness that prompted you to consult a doctor? Did you suspect roseola?

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