It is also called the sixth disease, it is a contagious childhood disease caused by the HHV-6 virus, and it is most common in infants and children under two years.
This disease occurs throughout the year. It usually starts with a slight cold. Then the child develops a high fever, to 105ºF 101ºF (38.3 ° C to 40.5ºC) that persists for 3 to 7 days.
Causes of Roseola
Roseola is a viral infection caused by two types of herpes virus. Human herpesvirus 6 (80-90% of cases) and human herpesvirus 7 (in the remaining 10-20%).
According to the series varies between 70-90%, but in any case is herpes virus six which is much more common.
These types of herpes virus are from the same family as those that produce cold sores, chickenpox or herpes zoster, although they have different characteristics than these.
Almost all children go roseola in childhood because it is a highly contagious infection.
It is rare to appear in infants younger than six months because until that age usually have maternal antibodies that have passed through the placenta and exert a protective function in the baby.
The virus that causes the disease affects only humans.
Symptoms of roseola
The incubation period of roseola extends about 7-10 days. During this phase, the affected baby may have nonspecific catarrhal symptoms (a cough scarce, some mucus).
The most typical is that the symptoms of roseola start very abruptly with high fever (up to 39 or 40), always keeping the baby good condition.
The fever usually lasts three days, although in a few cases it can last about five days.
This symptom has a recognizable pattern, which is that in the same way that heat starts abruptly it suddenly disappears, the baby goes from being with high temperature to an entirely afebrile state.
About 24 hours after the fever is gone or typical rash of roseola rash appears.
It is a rash of pink spots, not large raised in the skin that occur on the face, neck, trunk and root tips. They usually disappear within one or three days without any peeling skin, unlike other similar-looking diseases.
Although not a proper symptom of roseola, in some cases, febrile seizures may occur, mainly due to the rapid rise of fever.
In fact, roseola is the cause of 10-15% of febrile seizures in childhood. However, they are benign and do not involve risk of epilepsy in the future.
Diagnosis of roseola
For medical experts to determine if a patient suffers from roseola, they must base their analysis on the exploration and observation of the affected child.
The work of the specialist will rule out the presence of any potential disease by examing symptoms and determining possible causes for such a high fever (tonsillitis, urinary tract infection, etc.).
This process helps doctors to find the required specific treatment with antibiotics.
If a child older than six months with high fever displays an excellent general appearance and no focus on temperature, you can give symptomatic treatment with antipyretics and wait to see he goes.
When spots appear diagnosis is already more than evident, although at that time the baby usually already be perfect.
The rash appears when the affected child no longer has a fever.
Only in specific cases, such as in patients with impaired immune system (leukemia’s, immunodeficiencies) examination confirmation will be made through serology.
Detecting blood of active antibodies against the virus that would indicate which it has recently had roseola.
Once the children recover from roseola, they end up developing permanent immunity, which means they will no longer get affected by this disease again.
Roseola treatment and prevention
Treatment of roseola infection is symptomatic since there is no specific treatment for this problem.
Antipyretics, analgesics, and anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, are most often used to calm the typical symptoms of this disease.
If a febrile seizure rapid rise of fever appears, parents are encouraged to try to lower it by physical means (such as putting compresses with warm water in front, neck, and armpits).
Also, approach the health center nearest where rectal medication (diazepam), which will cause the seizure cessation, gets administered quickly.
There is no vaccine for roseola. Therefore, the only way to avoid infection is prevention: it is essential for proper hand washing, using tissues when it is cold, and to maintain appropriate hygiene in kindergartens. Nevertheless, almost all the children have gone to three years old.