What are the complications of roseola and how to prevent it?

Roseola is a viral disease that mostly affects young children between 6 months and two years of age. It is a contagious disease that is characterized by high fever and a rash that develops as the fever subsides.

As well it's called a sudden rash, sixth disease or roseola infantum.

Signs and symptoms of roseola

When a child is with someone who has rubella and becomes infected with the virus, the appearance of the symptoms of infection usually takes one or two weeks. It is possible to be infected with roseola and to have signs and symptoms too light to perceive them easily.

Some symptoms could be:


Roseola fever lasts 3 to 7 days and it is followed by an eruption that lasts from several hours to several days. Generally, roseola begins with a high, sudden fever, often greater than 39.4 ° C.

During fever or before, some children they may also have a mild sore throat, runny nose or cough. In addition to fever, your child may also have swollen lymph nodes in the neck. The fever lasts three to five days.

You may also be interested: What to do to lower the fever? Tips to consider

Skin rash or rash

Usually, although not always, a rash appears once the fever subsides. The rash consists of many patches or small patches of pink. These spots are generally flat, but some can be raised.

Usually, the rash appears on the chest, back and abdomen, and then it extends to the neck and arms. It is possible that sometimes it reaches the legs and face.

The rash, which does not cause itching or discomfort, can last from several hours to several days before disappearing. Other signs and symptoms may include:

Can rubella be prevented?

Roseola is contagious. Infection spreads when a child with roseola speaks, sneezes or coughs, expelling infected droplets in the air that other people can inspire.

The droplets can also end up depositing on the surrounding surfaces, So, if other people touch these surfaces and then touch their mouths or noses, they can get it.

This disease can be spread during the high fever phase, but it can not be contagious when the rash is declared. There is no way to prevent roseola.

But, since it affects younger children much more than adults, it is believed that an episode of roseola in childhood can give some immunity long-term to this disease. It can be contracted several times, but it is not common.

How is the diagnosis of roseola made?

To make the diagnosis, the doctor will elaborate the patient's medical history and explore it. A diagnosis of this pathology is usually not clear until the fever subsides and the rash appears. At that time, the doctor may send tests to make sure that the fever is not due to another type of infection.

Most treatments focus on lowering high fever. Antibiotics are not good for treating it because this disease is caused by viruses, rather than by bacteria.

Read also: 5 remedies for external use to calm the rash

Complications of roseola

Some of the complications that can appear are:

Seizures in children

Sometimes, a child with roseola has a seizure triggered by a rapid increase in body temperature. If this happens, the child may lose consciousness and shake his body abruptly. You may also temporarily lose bladder or bowel control.

Seizures related to fever in healthy young children are usually short-lived and, on occasion, harmful. Roseola complications are rare. The vast majority of healthy children and adults with roseola recover quickly and completely.

Weakened immune system

People with weakened immune systems can get a new case of roseola or re-develop a previous infection. Because they have less resistance to viruses in general, they usually develop more serious cases of infection and it is more difficult to fight the disease.