Medical Definition of Roseola infantilis

  • Medical Author:
    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.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Roseola infantilis: Roseola infantilis is another name for roseola, also formally called roseola infantum. The following is a brief rundown on roseola:

Cause: Roseola is caused by a virus called human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and, possibly, human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7).

Age range: Roseola is most common in children 6 months to 24 months of age.

Spread: Roseola is spread from person to person, but it is not known how. Roseola is not very contagious.

Initial symptoms: These include a high fever that lasts for 3 to 5 days, runny nose, irritability, eyelid swelling, and tiredness.

The rash: When the fever disappears, a rash appears. The rash is mainly on the face and body.

Course: The rash lasts for about 24 to 48 hours. Roseola usually goes away without any treatment.

Complications of roseola are rare.

Seeing the doctor: A child with fever and rash should be excluded from child care until seen by a physician.

Return to child care: A child with rash and no fever may return to child care.

Because the rash appears so suddenly (right after the fever dramatically departs), the disease is also sometimes called exanthem subitum.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018