We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Roseola Infantum?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Feb 06, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Roseola infantum, which is often simply known by the names roseola or sixth disease, is a viral infection that most affects children under the age of two. Resulting from contact with a couple of herpes virus strains, the condition has a relatively predictable course and most kids will recover from it with very little intervention, except some home care to provide comfort. The illness can be problematic for a small group of kids who develop febrile seizures from very high fevers, and it may also be dangerous for people with weakened immune systems to have contact with anyone with the condition.

There are two very basic stages of roseola infantum, which comprise its major symptoms. When a child, or more rarely an adult, comes in contact with the disease, incubation period may last a week or more. The first symptom to appear is often a high fever that may be over 103 degrees F (39.44 degrees C). Sometimes there is variation in the first symptom and people will develop cold-like signs that could include mild cough or stuffy nose. More frequently, sudden fever is the first sign.

Fever stage may last for up to a week or end within a few days. In classic cases of roseola infantum, the next and usually final symptom is development of a flat pink or red rash. This may start on the trunk and spread outward, possibly reaching the limbs, though not always. It can take a few days for the rash to resolves itself, but it’s not thought to be particularly uncomfortable or create itching. The rash certainly can appear fairly vivid, but it tends to look worse than it feels, and doesn’t usually require any skin treatment.

A few other minor symptoms may be associated with roseola infantum including stomach upset. Some children are tired or cranky and a few may appear to have irritated eyelids. Kids may be uninterested in eating very much during all stages of the illness.

As mentioned, the biggest problem for some people who contract roseola infantum is high fever resulting in febrile seizures. It’s thus recommended that fever treatment be part of addressing this illness, though it’s usually not diagnosed until rash appears and fever is gone. Still, a fever as high as 103 degrees is typically treated with fever reducers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. For children, aspirin is not appropriate and there is an established link between roseola and Reye’s syndrome.

Even though young children are thought most likely to contract roseola infantum, the condition could potentially affect anyone and is undoubtedly contagious. Especially until fever has cleared, children with this illness should have minimal contact with others, and should particularly avoid contact with anyone with an impaired immune system. Due to high fever, a trip to the doctor is often recommended, and parents should definitely get medical help without delay if a child has a seizure during high fever. This needs emergency treatment a parent cannot give.

Most kids won’t have this complication and parents can follow guidelines for best home care. In addition to reducing fever, rest and plenty of fluids are recommended. The illness may run its course in approximately four or five days to about two weeks. Many people are then immune to exposure in the future.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.