If you’re a new parent, you should know a few things about roseola, a contagious disease that’s not uncommon in children aged six months to roughly two years. And while it’s rare for adults to acquire roseola, it is possible, particularly if they didn’t have it when they were very young.
In most cases, roseola will result in a high fever for about a week and irritating rash in the period that follows. Generally speaking, roseola is not particularly serious or life threatening; that said, the parents of children with roseola should take their child to see a physician, just to be safe.
The first and most prominent symptom of roseola is a sharp spike in body temperature. This high fever can last for anywhere from a few days to roughly a week. This can leave a child aged six months to two years uncomfortable and fussy. Other symptoms accompanying a high fever include eye swelling, ear pain, reduced appetite, cough, sore throat, and limited appetite. Seizures are also possible, though rare; should this occur, contact a doctor immediately.
Once the fever breaks, it’s usually followed (within about a day) by an uncomfortable skin rash that may be flat or raised across the skin. This rash may emerge anywhere on the child’s body, but is typically found on the abdomen. From there, it may spread to the face, arms and even legs. The good news is that the emergence of a rash signals that the virus is nearing the end of its course through the body. Finally, it’s worth noting that a roseola infection can take hold without many — or even any — of the symptoms named above.