Thursday, August 16, 2012


So I don't remember if my two older girls got this since it is so common, but I'm pretty sure little E got it.  And boy has he been fussy this past week!  Maybe it is in our genes because this boy does not just wimper or cry... he screams!  Poor little guy... had the usual runny nose with mucous all over whenever he sneezes... then developed into a cough with decreased appetite and irritability.. then fever (usually high even above 103 but we didn't actually measure his)... just as the fever resolved he developed the typical red bumpy rash all over.  It is usually at this point that the diagnosis becomes apparent since all the previous symptoms could be any number of viruses.  I do know he didn't have an ear infection since I checked it... but usually with fevers, you have to make sure there is no definite bacterial cause (ears, urine, throat, etc).

Here's the quick 101 on Roseola...

What is it?
It is a common childhood illness cause by a virus.  It is sometimes also called Sixth Disease.

Who gets it?
Usually children between the ages of 3 months and 4 years, though  most common between 6 months and 1 year.  In fact, it is the most common cause of fever in this age group.

What are the symptoms?
  • eye redness
  • irritability
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • swollen glands
  • diarrhea (even vomiting but both of these are rare)
  • high fever (usually above 103)
  • after fever resolves about 2-3 days in, rash appears (rose-colored, small bumps, slightly raised)
  • rash does not itch and can last few hrs to days to weeks
How do you treat it?
There is no specific treatment and the disease usually gets better on its own.  Supportive measure for comfort can be taken.  For example:
  • tylenol or motrin for fever
  • encourage fluids and rest
  • lots of love (see prev post here about sick babies and toddlers)
Is it contagiuos?
Yes!  It is probably contagious about 2 days before the fever starts to 1 to 2 days after the fever resolves.  It can be passed through bodily fluids (like saliva, runny nose, cough) and it can be 7 to 10 days after exposure before you get symptoms.

How do we prevent this?
Wash hands!  But this is so tough in a the 6 month to 1 year age group since they are putting everything in sight into their mouth like all the time.  So it is no wonder this is so common in this age group!

When do I go to my doctor?
It never hurts to call and get medical counsel on whether or not your child needs to be seen.  But if your child has any of the following, make sure you seek medical attention immediately:
  • decrease urinary output (less than 3 diapers/day)
  • listless and lethargic
  • fever that does not resolve with tylenol or motrin
  • having seizures (can sometimes get febrile seizures as a complication)