Roseola

  • Medical Author:
    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Can the fever cause a seizure?

Yes. The sudden and rapid rise in temperature elevation may trigger a seizure (a convulsion). Febrile seizures (convulsions due to fever) are common (3%) in children between 18 months to 3 years of age. They occur in 5%-35% of children with roseola.

Is a seizure due to fever dangerous?

The seizure may look very frightening, but it is usually quite harmless (benign). Febrile seizures are not associated with long-term nervous-system side effects or brain damage. Anticonvulsant medications are very rarely prescribed for the treatment or prevention of febrile seizures.

What should one do if his or her child with roseola has a seizure?

The hardest thing to do is to keep calm while helping the child to the floor and loosening any clothing around the neck. Remove any sharp objects that could cause injury, and turn the child on one side so saliva can flow from the mouth. Putting a cushion or a folded coat under the head for a pillow is fine, but do not put anything in the child's mouth. The best thing is just to wait it out. Most febrile seizures (whether associated with roseola or other viruses) last less than five minutes. Do not leave the child unattended while calling the paramedics of the doctor's office. Children are often drowsy and sleep after a seizure. That is normal. After the seizure, contact the child's health-care professional to determine if the child should be immediately examined.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/27/2016

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