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What is roseola?
Roseola (also termed sixth disease, roseola infantum, and exanthema subitum) is a common viral infection that occurs mainly in children between 6-24 months of age. The virus that causes roseola is usually relatively benign, because about two-thirds of children infected have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, roseola begins with a high fever (102 F-105 F) that breaks in about three to seven days. When the fever breaks, a reddish or pinkish rash characteristic of roseola occurs all over the body (starting on the trunk and spreading to the arms, legs, and face) and lasts from a few hours to a few days. There is no specific treatment for roseola; however, the fever can be reduced with acetaminophen (Tylenol) and cool sponge baths.
Is roseola contagious? What is the incubation period for roseola?
Roseola is contagious. It has an incubation period (from time of exposure to the virus to symptom development) from about five to 14 days. The individual remains contagious until one or two days after the fever subsides. The roseola rash may still be present, but the child or individual is usually not contagious after the fever abates. Roseola is caused by a common virus (belonging to the family of herpesviruses and termed HHV-6). This virus does not cause cold sores or genital infections. Most pregnant females (about 96%) are immune to HHV-6 so there are only rare reports of a mother contracting roseola and transferring the virus to the fetus, in which HHV-6 may cause problems like miscarriage or birth defects.
How will I know if someone or my child has roseola?
If someone has roseola, usually they become infected from other individuals (for example, the children in a day-care center or siblings). The key to diagnosis of roseola is that when the fever stops, a non-itchy rash develops all over the body. The person, usually a child, has a decrease in appetite, mild diarrhea, or slight cough with runny nose but otherwise seems to be acting normal. This is not unusual for a child with roseola. However, if a child develops a high fever (102 F-105 F) and the fever does not go down, the child may develop more severe symptoms. Most individuals visit their physician/pediatrician to rule out other potential problems that may produce similar but more severe symptoms (for example, meningitis).
How is roseola transmitted?
Roseola is easily spread from person to person in day-care centers, preschools, and among siblings by contact with a person's respiratory secretions and/or saliva. Sharing items like cups or utensils and even toys that are sometimes chewed on by a child can spread the virus to other children easily. For those adults who have never been infected with HHV-6, they too, may become infected, but the illness is not usually as severe in adults.
When will I know that someone or my child is cured of roseola?
In general, once the fever has abated for about a day or so, the person is usually cured and no longer contagious for roseola. The rash may linger on for a few days. Fortunately, most people are infected as a child and develop an immune response that renders them protected, usually for life, against roseola.
When should I contact a medical caregiver about roseola?
If you or your child has a rash that doesn't improve after a few days or, more importantly, the individual has fever of about 103 F, or fever less than 103 F that lasts for about one week, or if you or your child develops any seizures, slows or stops eating and drinking, or is not acting normal, the individual should be seen urgently by their physician or seen in a (pediatric) emergency department. If you aren't sure about what to do, contact your child's pediatrician or your physician immediately.
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Acetaminophen is a drug that reduces fever and relieves pain. It is available alone, or in combination with hundreds of other drugs available both over-the-counter (without a prescription) or that that may require a prescription from your doctor, for example, acetaminophen and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco) or acetaminophen and oxycodone (Percocet).
Acetaminophen treats a variety of diseases or other medical problems that cause pain or fever. Examples of conditions acetaminophen treats include, headache, minor arthritis pain, back pain, tooth pain, menstrual cramps, PMS, osteoarthritis, common cold, tension headache, chronic pain, hip pain, shoulder and neck pain, sore throat, sinus infection, teething, TMJ, bites and stings, and sprains and strains.
Acetaminophen generally has no side effects when taken as prescribed. When side effects are experienced, the most common are headache, rash, and nausea.
In 2014, the FDA recommended that doctors and other health care professionals only prescribe acetaminophen in doses of 325 mg or less. This warning highlights the potential for allergic reactions, for example, face, mouth, and throat swelling, difficulty breathing, itching, or rash. This action also will help reduce the risk of severe liver injury and serious allergic reactions associated with this drug. Other possible serious side effects adverse effects include anemia, kidney damage, thrombocytopenia (a reduced number of platelets in the blood), and liver problems.
Other patient information. Do not take more than one product that contains acetaminophen at the same time. Do not take more than one acetaminophen-containing drug than directed. Do not drink alcohol while taking medicine that contains acetaminophen due to severe liver damage.
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.
Aches, Pain, FeverAlthough a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
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RoseolaRoseola is a viral illness that most commonly affects young children. Symptoms and signs include a sudden high fever that lasts for three to five days, swollen neck glands, runny nose, puffy eyelids, diarrhea, irritability, and a bulging soft spot on the head.