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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What is most remarkable characteristic of roseola?

What is most striking is that the child seems so well despite having a high fever.

How long does roseola last?

The fever of roseola lasts three to five days followed by a rash lasting about one to two days that resolves without treatment. Immunity to HHV-6 seems to be lifelong.

Are there any complications of roseola?

Complications are rare with roseola except in children with suppressed immune systems. Individuals with healthy immune systems generally develop lifelong immunity to HHV-6 (or HHV-7).

Should a child with roseola see a doctor?

Yes, an evaluation by a health-care professional is a good idea. A child with a fever and a rash should not go back to child care until they are medically evaluated.

When can the child return to child care?

A child with just the rash of roseola and no fever can usually return to child care.

Is it possible to prevent roseola?

The primary mechanism for HHV-6 or HHV-7 transmission is via human-to-human respiratory droplet secretions. Therefore, basic hand-washing and avoidance of acutely ill individuals (such as those with fever) is the best way to avoid contracting the illness. Day-care centers and preschools should follow routine principles of hygiene and decontamination of toys and articles shared by their children.

What is the prognosis for a child with roseola?

With the exception of immune-compromised patients, the prognosis for a child with roseola is excellent and no long-term side effects should be anticipated.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/16/2015
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