When to see a doctor Seek immediate medical care Your child could have a convulsion febrile seizure if his or her fever becomes high or spikes quickly. If your child does have an unexplained seizure, seek medical care immediately. You may need monitoring for a possible infection that, for you, could be more severe than it is for a child. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic Causes The most common cause of roseola is the human herpes virus 6, but the cause also can be another herpes virus — human herpes virus 7. For example, a healthy child who shares a cup with a child who has roseola could contract the virus. Roseola is contagious even if no rash is present.
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It is usually marked by several days of high fever , followed by a distinctive rash just as the fever breaks. Two common, closely related viruses can cause roseola, human herpesvirus HHV type 6 and type 7. These viruses belong to the same family as the better-known herpes simplex viruses HSV , but do not cause the cold sores and genital herpes infections that HSV can cause. During this time, a child might be fussy or irritable, not eat as much as usual, and may have 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 starts on the trunk. The rash usually spreads to the neck, face, arms, and legs. Signs of a febrile seizure include: unconsciousness 2 to 3 minutes of jerking or twitching in the arms, legs, or face loss of control of the bladder or bowels Is Roseola Contagious?
Roseola is contagious. Roseola may be contagious during the fever phase, but does not spread by the time the rash breaks out. Can Roseola Be Prevented? There is no known way to prevent roseola.
Repeat cases of roseola can happen, but are uncommon. How Long Does Roseola Last? The fever of roseola lasts from 3 to 7 days, followed by a rash lasting from hours to a few days. How Is Roseola Diagnosed? To make a diagnosis, a doctor will take a and do an exam. A diagnosis of roseola is often uncertain until the fever drops and the rash appears, so the doctor may order tests to make sure that the fever is not caused by another type of infection.
How Is Roseola Treated? Roseola usually does not require professional medical treatment. When it does, most treatment is focused on lowering the high fever. Home Treatment Acetaminophen such as Tylenol or ibuprofen such as Advil or Motrin can help to ease a fever. While some parents use lukewarm sponge baths to lower fever, there is no proof that this really works. In fact, sponge baths can make children uncomfortable. Never give your child an icy or cold bath or alcohol rubs.
To prevent dehydration from the fever, encourage your child to drink clear fluids such as water with ice chips and Pedialyte electrolyte oral replacement solution. Breast milk and formula can help prevent dehydration as well. When Should I Call the Doctor? If your child has a seizure, get emergency care right away.
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