Roseola is an infection characterized by a sudden onset of high fever followed by a rash. The infection usually ends on its own without complications.
Roseola is more common in children aged 6 months to 3 years old (6-15 months old is most common), and during the spring and fall months. Contact with an infected child is rarely reported.
Roseola may cause:
The appearance of a rash after the fever disappears is the characteristic sign of roseola.
The doctor will ask about symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Usually other tests are not needed. Often, there is a history of other children with roseola in the community.
No treatment is needed for roseola unless the child has a weakened immune system. The most important treatment is to keep the fever down and drink plenty of fluids.
Talk to the doctor about how to bring the fever down through:
Call your doctor if your child has a seizure and/or the fever persists.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children
Roseola. Nemour Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/roseola.html. Updated July 2012. Accessed August 5, 2013.
Roseola infantum. American Academy of Pediatricians Healthy Children website. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/skin/Pages/Roseola-Infantum.aspx. Updated May 11, 2013. Accessed August 5, 2013.
Roseola infantum. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115041/Roseola-infantum. Updated August 20, 2015. Accessed September 23, 2016.
Last reviewed May 2016 by David L. Horn, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.