Roseola Infantum

roseola-virus-rashOne of the most common conditions we see in general practice is Roseola Infantum or 6th disease. It’s a mild illness characterised by high fevers that subside leaving a nice blotchy red rash all over your baby’s body.

It’s caused by a virus in the herpes family (don’t fret it wont cause anything else like cold sores for example) and is often contracted from other sick kids.

Most children by the age of two would have had Roseola Infantum and some may get it with not much symptomatology at all.

Roseola is often characterised by the development of a sudden rise in temperature and it not common for temperatures to be over 40. These fevers last around 3-5 days and then resolve. On resolution a blotchy blanching (when you press on it, the rash goes white) red rash develops over the torso, arms and legs and rarely affects the face. The rash while looking shocking will usually self resolve within 24-48 hours.

Treatment is just supportive

  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen are often used just to control the fevers and we often find once the temperature comes down the child is back to normal.
  • Encourage lots of hydration and you may consider increasing your breast feeds if you are breast feeding

If you’re struggling to bring your babies temperatures down and finding it hard to encourage hydration you should immediately see your doctor and it is good to see your GP in general when fevers start as there may be other causes to your childs fever that need attention.

Roseola is infectious and is transmitted via fluid droplets eg when coughing. Once your child has symptoms, they are no longer contagious. Hand washing and good general hygiene are paramount in stopping its spread.

The advice provided on healthykid.com.au is of a general nature and in no way should replace your therapeutic relationship with your doctor

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