Childhood Roseola - Sudden Rash

The roseola child, also called sudden rash is a very common virus during childhood, manifested through skin rash (red spots on the skin) and fever. The sudden rash is a benign viral infection, which heals by itself without treatment and rarely causes complications.

In this article we will explain the basics of sudden rash, including its symptoms, causes, modes of transmission, diagnosis and treatment options.

Childhood roseola
Childhood roseola

What is childhood roseola

The roseola is a benign viral infection of short duration and with very low complication rate. The virus responsible in most cases is the human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), a herpes virus. However, roseola can also be caused by other viruses, such as human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7), some enterovirus (coxsackievirus A, coxsackievirus B, echovirus), adenovirus and parainfluenza virus type 1.

The child is a typical roseola infection of babies. About 75% of all cases occur in children aged between 6 months and 1.5 year old. Boys and girls are affected with equal frequency. By late childhood, almost everyone will have had some contact with the virus, even those who became infected but did not get to develop symptoms of roseola. So roseola boards in adult patients.

Transmission of childhood roseola

The transmission of roseola is usually made from person to person through contact with respiratory secretions, primarily by saliva. Sneezing, coughing, kissing, contact with droplets and toys ranging to his mouth and are shared with other children are potential sources of infection.

In most cases, patients can not identify the source of transmission, as this often occurs through individuals who are asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Explaining better: a child becomes contaminated with HHV-6, do not develop symptoms of roseola, but spends several days being a source of transmission of the virus. This asymptomatic carrier child can pass the virus to dozens of other children, especially if she is attending a nursery. Among the newly infected children, some will develop symptoms of roseola, but most of them will turn into new asymptomatic carriers of the virus.

Symptoms of childhood roseola

For that small group that will develop symptoms, the average period of roseola incubation is 10 days. The clinical picture usually starts with a high fever, which can exceed 40°C. Fever may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms such as ear pain, increased lymph nodes of the neck, irritability, loss of appetite, stuffy nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Just as suddenly appears after 3-5 days of high temperatures, the fever goes away too quickly from one moment to the next.

The most characteristic sign of roseola is the sudden appearance of a rash (red spots on the skin) immediately after the resolution of fever, hence the disease is also known as sudden rash. The rash of roseola not itch or cause pain.

The rash of roseola starts on the trunk and then spreads to the limbs and face. Lesions are usually composed of multiple small red patches of 0.5 centimeters, which may be flat or slightly raised. The rash lasts 1 to 2 days, but in some cases may only last a few hours.

The roseola cure spontaneously without causing complications in most cases. In some children, however, the very high fever can trigger episodes of seizures. Despite being a rather frightening picture for parents, seizures are self-limiting and do not cause major problems in the vast majority of cases.

The HHV-6 and HHV-7 virus can also cause a skin rash otherwise known as pityriasis rosea. This rash occurs mainly in older children and young adults.

Diagnosis of childhood roseola

In most patients, the roseola is diagnosed clinically, due to its typical presentation of fever for 3 to 5 days followed by rash in a child under 3 years. Before the appearance of the rash, it is very difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are the same as those of any common virus.

Rarely, the doctor may order a serology, which is a test that investigates the presence of antibodies to roseola in the blood.

Treatment of childhood roseola

The roseola above and is a benign self-limited and most children already healed within a week after the onset of fever. The treatment is therefore only rest, good hydration and fever control with common painkillers.

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