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Roseola is a viral illness that results in a viral exanthem. Exanthem is another name for a rash or skin eruption. Roseola is a contagious disease that usually consists of a high fever and a rash that develops as the fever decreases.
Roseola is caused by many viruses. The most common cause is the human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6). It occurs mostly in children under the age of 3. Roseola is contagious, although the way it is spread is not known. It occurs throughout the year.
It may take between five to 15 days for a child to develop symptoms of roseola after being exposed to the disease. A child is probably most contagious during the period of high fever, before the rash occurs. The following are the most common symptoms of roseola. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of roseola may resemble other skin conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.
Roseola is usually diagnosed based on a complete medical history and physical examination of your child. The rash of roseola that follows a high fever is unique, and usually allows for a diagnosis simply on physical examination. In addition, your child's physician may order blood tests to aid in the diagnosis.
Specific treatment for roseola will be determined by your child's physician based on: