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roseola rash
Typical red, blotchy rash
caused by roseola.


Roseola, which is also sometimes referred to as three day fever, baby measles, or sixth disease, is a completely benign virus that most often affects young children, typically under the age of two.

The symptoms of roseola begin as a sudden fever which typically lasts for three days, along with a runny nose, diarrhea, swollen glands, and irritability.

The fever is followed by a red, blotchy rash within roughly 12 to 24 hours of the fever breaking. The rash will typically last one to two days. As children get older, however, the chances of developing the rash as part of the illness diminish, in which case the illness will have passed without signs of rash.

Roseola treatment & diagnosis

The rash associated with roseola typically has certain characteristics. It will usually start on the trunk of the body somewhere, whereupon it spreads outwards, often to the neck and the legs.

Treatment is usually not needed for roseola, as the virus almost always goes away on its own without any complications. However, drugs are occasionally administered to help with the fever, and in rare instances where complications do arise, doctors can provide treatment.

It should also be noted that because a high fever can be part of any number of illnesses for infants, it is not always easy to diagnose roseola. Since the most unique characteristic of roseola is the rash, which occurs after the fever, a clear diagnosis is not possible until after the fever breaks.

Is roseola contagious?

Lastly, because roseola virus never actually leaves the human body, roseola is often contracted by children from healthy parents and caregivers, In fact, other children with roseola are typically not the source of infection, and no special precautions around children with roseola symptoms are necessary.

More information about roseola around the Web:

KidsHealth - Roseola
- Check out an expert overview of the condition including information on causes, symptoms and treatment, how long it should last, what to do in case of fever, and related advice.


This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.


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