Also known as sixth disease, exanthem subitum, and roseola infantum is a viral illness that most commonly affects young kids between 6 months and 2 years old.

Manifested by several days of high fever, followed by a distinctive rash just as the fever breaks.

Two common, closely related viruses can cause roseola, human herpesvirus (HHV) type 6 and type 7.

These viruses belong to the same family as the better-known herpes simplex viruses.

These viruses, however do not cause the cold sores and genital herpes infections that HSV can cause.

Most children with roseola develop a mild upper respiratory illness, followed by a high fever, often higher than 103°F or 39.5°C, for up to a week, and the child might be irritable, eat poorly, and may have neck adenopathy.

Fever often ends abruptly, and a pinkish-red flat or raised rash starts on the trunk, and usually spreads to the neck, face, arms

When touched the spots turn white, and individual spots may have a lighter halo around them.

Febrile seizures can be initiated by the fast rising fever in about 10% to 15% of young children who have roseola.

Roseola is spread when a child with roseola talks, sneezes, or coughs, sending tiny droplets into the air to others.

Vomited can also disseminate the disease.

Roseola is contagious during the fever phase, but not by the time the rash breaks out.

A bout of roseola in childhood may provide some lasting immunity to the illness, although repeat cases of roseola can occur, they are uncommon.

The fever of roseola lasts from 3 to 7 days, followed by a rash lasting from hours to a few days.

Diagnosis of roseola is often uncertain until the fever drops and the rash appears

Treatment is focused on lowering the high fever.

Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help to reduce fever.

Aspirin should not be given to a child who has a viral illness because its use in such cases has been associated with Reye syndrome.

There is no evidence that the use of lukewarm sponge baths to lower fever, really works.

Sponge baths, in fact, can make children uncomfortable.

Icy or cold bath or alcohol rubs should not be used to decrease fever.

Hydration is encouraged.

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