Sixth Disease / Roseola – Condition

We Primary Care - Best Primary Care Knowledge Site


Roseola is a minor illness that mostly affects children by the age of two, but sometimes it also affects adults. As a result of the widespread prevalence of roseola, the majority of children are afflicted by the time they begin kindergarten.

Two different types of the herpes virus cause the illness. It is common for the disease to produce a fever for many days followed by a rash. In this condition, also known as sixth disease, there is a fast defervescence of the fever, as well as an accompanying pink papular rash that starts on the trunk and spreads throughout the body.

A very mild form of roseola may manifest itself in some youngsters who never exhibit any obvious indications of disease, while others manifest the entire spectrum of signs and symptoms.

It is not usually taken seriously. Bed rest, water, and fever-reducing medicines are all recommended for the treatment of roseola.


Roseola is sometimes referred to as the “sixth disease” since the “human herpesvirus (HHV) type 6” causes it in the majority of cases. HHV type 7 or another virus, which occurs less often, may also cause it.

Similar to other viral diseases such as the common cold, roseola may be transmitted from one person to another via contact with the respiratory secretions or saliva of an infected individual. For instance, it is possible for a healthy kid to acquire roseola by sharing a cup with a child who is sick with the virus.

It is contagious even if there is no rash on the affected person’s skin. Consequently, even if a kid has just a fever, the disease may spread and the child may not be diagnosed with roseola until the fever has subsided. If your kid has come into contact with another child who is suffering from the disease, keep an eye out for symptoms of the illness.

Due to the fact that they have not had enough time to build their own antibodies against many viruses, babies are at the highest risk of contracting roseola. Babies get antibodies from their mothers while still in the uterus, which protects them against acquiring illnesses as infants. However, over time, this immunity begins to wane. An infant’s risk of contracting roseola increases with age, with the most frequent age being between 6 and 15 months.


The first signs and symptoms of roseola emerge approximately 10 days after the first infection. In most cases, a high temperature (typically over 103° F) is the initial indication of sickness. This fever may persist anywhere between three and seven days. Once the fever has subsided, a rash on the stomach is common, and it may extend to the back, neck, and arms of the individual. Pink or red patches cover the skin, making it non-itchy and non-painful to touch. Even if the rash fades within a few hours, it may be visible for one to two days after that.

Roseola may cause cold or flu-like symptoms in children, including the following:


·Runny nose

·Ear pain

·Loss of appetite

·Sore throat


·Swollen glands

·Enlarged lymph nodes


Oftentimes, the resulting seizure is febrile, which is defined as a seizure brought on by a fast rise in body temperature. This kind of seizure is very rare and has no side effects. However, if you think your child has had a seizure, you should immediately call your doctor or seek emergency medical help.

Signs of dehydration including dark urine and severe tiredness may also indicate roseola.


It will be necessary for your child’s skin to be checked by your doctor, who will also ask about their symptoms in order to determine whether or not they have sixth disease and to rule out any other potential causes of the symptoms. A diagnosis may usually be made solely based on the appearance of a rash; however, it may be required to confirm the diagnosis by testing for antibodies to roseola in a blood sample in certain instances.


A week following the onset of the fever, the majority of the children recover fully. If your child’s doctor approves it, you may give him or her over-the-counter medications to help reduce the temperature.

For roseola, there is currently no particular therapy, but some physicians may prescribe the antiviral drug to treat the infection in individuals who have compromised immune systems. Antibiotics are ineffective in treating viral diseases such as roseola, which is caused by a virus.The majority of cases with roseola merely require supportive care. The fact that the disease is caused by a virus means that antibiotics will be ineffective in treating it. For the treatment of roseola, currently no antiviral medicines available can cure it completely.

If your child’s fever has subsided, he or she should immediately begin to feel better. On the other hand, a fever may make your kid feel sick or uneasy. Your doctor may suggest the home treatments as getting enough sleep and bed rest. It is also advised to get a sufficient amount of fluids. To prevent dehydration and dehydration-related diseases, encourage your child to drink clear fluids such as water, clear broth, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, or an electrolyte rehydration solution or sports drinks.

Sponge baths are also recommended for treating roseola. A cold washcloth applied to your child’s head or a lukewarm sponge bath may help alleviate the discomfort associated with a fever in your child. Avoid, on the other hand, ice, cold water, fans, and cold baths. As a consequence, the kid may experience uncomfortable chills.

When to see a doctor

If you notice any rash that does not disappear within a few days, or if the fever lasts longer than a week or exceeds 103° F, schedule an appointment with your child’s doctor immediately. If your kid exhibits cough or other symptoms like difficulty breathing, fever for more than 24 hours, seizure, itchy or uncomfortable rash on the skin, itching, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should contact your healthcare provider:.