What is Roseola?
Roseola, commonly called the ‘sixth disease’ is a common virus that causes infection in children under the age of 2 Years. Roseola is characterized by a few days of fever followed by its signature skin rash. The infection isn’t so serious and in some cases doesn’t show any symptoms too.
Roseola is so common that most of the children already get infected and cured of it by the time they reach kindergarten.
Roseola symptoms usually start showing with 5-15 days of getting infected by the virus. The most common symptoms include high fever that is followed by a skin rash. But Roseola can affect different children differently and as such the symptoms may vary from child to child. Some of the common signs and symptoms of Roseola include:
- Pink skin rash around abdomen, arms, legs, and face
- Eyelid swelling
- Very high fever that lasts
- Decreased appetite
- Mild diarrhea
- A mild cough and sore throat
- Convulsions due to high fever
- Ear pain
Who is at Risk?
Roseola risk factors vary from child to child depending upon the exposure to the virus. While the infant is still in the mother’s womb, the antibodies of mothers prevent them from the infection.
Older children are at a higher risk of contracting with the virus because they haven’t developed the antibodies for the virus. The most common age of getting affected by the Roseola virus is between 5-12 months of age.
The most common cause of Roseola is the infection caused by human herpesvirus 6. Another strain for Roseola causes is human herpesvirus 7.
Roseola is caused by person to person contact i.e. infection through a person’s saliva or other secretions. For instance, when a healthy child shares food with an infected child, they may contract the virus and start showing symptoms after 5-15 days.
Roseola is contagious! As such children infected with the virus can pass it on to other children before they even develop a fever or any skin rash. It is important to check on the signs and symptoms of children that your child has interacted with.
Roseola rarely results in any major outbreak, but the infection can happen around the year.
How is Roseola diagnosed?
Roseola diagnosis is undertaken by the doctor by conducting a physical examination. Usually, the common symptoms are a telltale to diagnose Roseola.
- Physical Examination: the doctor takes a physical examination of the infant’s skin and health condition to study the infection.
- Roseola test: In some rare cases, when it is unidentifiable doctors may take samples of blood, urine, or skin to study the kind of virus infection
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How is Roseola treated?
Roseola treatment is designed around the signs and symptoms and the underlying health condition of the child. The virus fades away on its own after a few days. But the symptoms and health condition of the child may deteriorate. Due care is given to control the symptoms first.
- Roseola medicine: Doctors may prescribe over-the-counter medicines to control symptoms like fever, skin rash, etc. These include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc.
- Fluids: As the virus infection leads to dehydration and high fever, doctors advise on giving the child enough fluids to keep them hydrated.
- Antiviral medicines: In rare cases, when the immune system of the infant is weak, doctors may prescribe antiviral drugs like ganciclovir for Roseola cure.
How can Roseola be prevented?
At present, there is no vaccine to prevent your child from getting infected by Roseola. As such the Roseola prevention measures one can practice revolves around keeping the surroundings clean and avoiding exposure to infected children. Some of the common preventive measures include:
- Avoid your child’s exposure to children who might be infected with Roseola
- Maintain hygiene and sanitation around the house
- Wash hands frequently
- Adults should wash their hands before touching the child. Infected adults might not show symptoms but can pass the infection to the child.
- Feed the child right for them to strengthen their immune system