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Diseases » Roseola infantum » Wikipedia
 

Roseola infantum in Wikipedia

Note:Wikipedia is a user-contributed encyclopedia and may not have been reviewed by professional editors (See full Wikipedia disclaimer)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Roseola". (Source - Retrieved 2006-09-07 14:23:38 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roseola)

Introduction

Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6)
Human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7)

Exanthem subitum (meaning sudden rash), also referred to as roseola infantum (or rose rash of infants), sixth disease and (confusingly) baby measles, is a benign disease of children, generally under two years old, whose manifestations are usually limited to a transient rash ("exanthum") that occurs following a fever of about three day's duration.

Until recently, its cause was unknown: it is now known to be caused by two human herpesviruses, HHV-6 and HHV-7, also called Roseolovirus.

Despite the fact that it is occasionally called baby measles, it is caused by a different virus from measles, which is usually more severe. However there are subtypes of the HHV-6 virus that are the most aggressive viruses known and quickly overcome the immune system. HHV-6 has also been found in MS patients, and is thought to be a co-virus in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. As well as AIDS victims and one school of thought holds HHV-6 as a co-factor with HIV as the cause of AIDS. It's thought that HHV-6 in the presence of other viruses or conditions can make the A strain of the virus very aggressive.

It should be stated HHV-6 alone does not always result in Roseola. As with other Herpes Viruses it can cause various other diseases.


Clinical features of exanthem subitum

Typically the disease affects a child between six months and three years of age, and begins with a sudden high fever of 102-104 degrees Fahrenheit (39-40 degrees Celsius). This can cause, in some cases, febrile convulsions (also known as febrile seizures or fever fits) - due to the suddenness of the rise in body temperature, but in many cases the child appears and acts normal. After a few days the fever subsides and just as the child appears to be recovering, a red rash appears. This usually begins on the trunk, spreading to the limbs but usually not affecting the face. It disappears again in a matter of hours to a day or so.

In contrast, a child suffering from measles would usually be more unwell, with symptoms of conjunctivitis and a cough, and their rash would affect the face and last for several days.

Vaccines and treatment

There is no specific vaccine against or treatment for, exanthem subitum, and most children with the disease are not seriously unwell. The child with fever should be given plenty of fluids to drink, and acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the temperature. He or she should also be kept more lightly clothed than normal if he or she is very hot. The rash is not particularly itchy and needs no special lotions or creams.

It is likely that many children catch exanthem subitum "subclinically"; in other words, they show no outward sign of the disease. Others may be unwell enough that a doctor's opinion is required to confirm the diagnosis, and particularly to rule out other more serious infections, such as meningitis or measles. In case of febrile seizures, medical advice is essential.

 

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