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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: Roseola


 Chieko-san - Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:58 pm

My daughter is 13 months old and had a fever of 100-101.9 for about 3 days. The fever has gone, but now she has a rash all over her legs, arms and body. Nothing on her face. She is not in a hot environment, no food, detergent, or body soap changes. I know these are symptoms of Roseola, are there any other indicators? I know if it is Roseola, it should get better on its own, when should I take her in to the doctor?
 Shana Johnson, CNA - Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:51 am

User avatar A child with roseola typically develops a mild upper respiratory illness, followed by a high fever (often over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, or 39.5 degrees Celsius) for up to a week. During this time, the child may appear fussy or irritable and may have a decreased appetite and swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck.
The high fever often ends abruptly, and at about the same time a pinkish-red flat or raised rash appears on the child's trunk and spreads over the body. The rash's spots blanch (turn white) when you touch them, and individual spots may have a lighter "halo" around them. The rash usually spreads to the neck, face, arms, and legs.

Roseola is contagious and spreads through tiny drops of fluid from the nose and throat of infected people. These drops are expelled when the infected person talks, laughs, sneezes, or coughs. Then if other people breathe the drops in or touch them and then touch their own noses or mouths, they can become infected as well.

The illness typically does not require professional treatment, and when it does, most treatment is aimed at reducing the high fever. Antibiotics cannot treat roseola because it is caused by a virus, not a bacterium.

Home Treatment
Until the fever drops, you can help keep your child cool using a sponge or towel soaked in lukewarm water. Do not use ice, cold water, alcohol rubs, fans, or cold baths. Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) can help to reduce your child's fever. Avoid giving aspirin to a child who has a viral illness because the use of aspirin in such cases has been associated with the development of Reye syndrome, which can lead to liver failure and death.

To prevent dehydration from the fever, encourage your child to drink clear fluids such as water with ice chips, children's electrolyte solutions, flat sodas like ginger ale or lemon-lime (stir room-temperature soda until the fizz disappears), or clear broth.


Call your child's doctor if your child is lethargic or not drinking or if you cannot keep your child's fever down. If your child has a seizure, seek emergency care immediately

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