Roseola is a disease very similar to German measles. Babies and young children are most susceptible to this disease. It is probably caused by a virus and is not particularly contagious.
Roseola infantum is a disease which is also known as the sixth disease or exanthema subitum. Children can get affected with this disorder any time of the year. Let us take a look at the causes, symptoms and treatments for roseola infantum.
What are the causes of roseola infantum?
Roseola infantum is particularly a viral infection. The viruses which are known as human herpes virus 6 and human herpes virus 7 are mainly responsible for this kind of infection. This virus can spread through the respiratory secretions and saliva. It can even spread even if all of its symptoms are not present in the affected child. This form of viral infection is milder as compared to the viral infections like chickenpox and it does not result in an epidemic.
What are the symptoms of roseola infantum?
Babies and young children are most susceptible to this disease. Children between the ages of 6 to 15 months are more likely to get affected with this disorder. The incubation period could be anywhere between five to fifteen days. The disease usually lasts for 3 to 6 days.
Roseola is a disease very similar to German measles. Your child will suddenly develop a high temperature (around 102 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit). Once the fever subsides, she will break out in a rash of pale red spots on the body, neck, upper arms and sometimes on the face and legs. These spots will turn white on the application of pressure. In some cases, children also develop a runny nose, swollen glands and convulsions.
Contact your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Once he has confirmed that your child has roseola infantum, all you can do is treat the disease symptomatically. This will mainly involve keeping the fever down by making sure that your baby's fluid intake is high. There is no known method for the prevention of this disease. The likelihood of complications developing is extremely rare. However, the disease may recur.
How to help the child cope with roseola?
If your child is coping with roseola, you must encourage her to increase her fluid intake. She may feel dehydrated due to fever and other symptoms of roseola. In this case you can give her oral rehydration solution. You can also give her clear soups and broth. Giving a sponge bath with lukewarm water may also help. Rashes cannot be treated in a particular way and they may subside naturally after few days.
How to prevent this disorder?
The vaccination for roseola infantum is not available. Therefore, there is no way in which children can be immunized against this disorder. In this scenario, parents must not allow children to come in contact with the infected children or individuals. In case if anyone in the family is infected, hygiene must be maintained completely. Keeping children clean and tidy, maintaining good level of cleanliness at home and handling children with clean hands can help to prevent not only roseola but also a number of other viral and bacterial infections.
What are the complications that can take place?
Normally, complications are usually not observed in case of roseola. In rare cases febrile convulsions or fits that are caused due to very high fever can be triggered do to the sudden increase in childâ€™s temperature. Again in rare cases it may even give rise to ear infections.
This disorder may be confused with rubella or measles sometimes. Therefore, parents must be careful and report to the doctor immediately if any of the symptoms of roseola are noticed in children.
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- The Indiaparenting Team