What are the symptoms of roseola?

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Deborah Mulligan
Deborah Mulligan on behalf of MDLIVE
Pediatrics
Roseola (roseola Infantum) is one of the common childhood rashes with fever caused by a virus.  A child with roseola typically develops a mild upper respiratory illness, followed by a high fever (often over 103° F or 39.5° C) 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 rash appears on the 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.  Not itchy, the rash goes away within hours to a few days.

The fast-rising fever that comes with roseola may trigger febrile seizures (convulsions caused by high fevers) in about 10% to 15% of young children.  Some children also have mild diarrhea, a cough and earache.  Children with a suppressed immune system could develop hepatitis or pneumonia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.