Roseola is caused by a viral infection. The illness has a quick onset but also has a relatively short life. It is mildly contagious and usually affects children under two years old, although there have been cases in older children, teens, and adults as well. Because roseola is usually mild, individuals might not even recognize the symptoms. Thankfully, roseola is pretty benign and is rarely a serious illness most children have contracted before they go to kindergarten. However, understanding its symptoms and effective treatments is still quite beneficial.
Be on the lookout for these warning signs associated with roseola.
Mild Upper Respiratory Illness
A typical sign of roseola is a mild upper respiratory illness. Everyone generally knows what a cold looks like. Patients might get a stuffy or runny nose, a cough, or a combination of every common cold symptom. Generally, a mild upper respiratory illness like the common cold takes a little bit of time to run its course and it is over. What patients need to look for are other signs that might indicate it is roseola. Because the illness comes on so fast and is over quickly, individuals might not notice any other symptoms. It might present differently than a cold because it can be accompanied by a fever. The most patients can do with these symptoms is to manage them with over-the-counter medication, as there is really no way to cure the symptoms.
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High Fever And Febrile Seizures
Roseola can cause high fever and febrile seizures. A child afflicted with the illness will not always have a high fever, but it is a possibility. A febrile seizure is caused by a dramatic increase in the patient's body temperature. These seizures can last from seconds to minutes and can be very scary. Even though they are typically not too dangerous, a child should still be seen by their doctor or an emergency room to make sure everything is okay. When a child suffers a febrile seizure along with the cold symptoms, the doctor should evaluate whether they might have roseola. The fever should be treated, and the child might need anti-viral medication if an infection is found. Other than that, this kind of seizure just needs to be monitored and the symptoms managed.
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Roseola has a characteristic rash that typically presents with the illness. However, sometimes the case of roseola is so mild the parents do not even notice a rash. Individuals might even think it is heat rash (if it is the summer time). There are cases where the rash that can appear due to roseola is much more pronounced and thus noticed more. Furthermore, the rash seems to appear after the fever leaves. There is really nothing to do about the rash associated with roseola. It does not cause any symptoms like itchiness, and it resolves quickly. The rash just looks worse than it actually is. It looks like pink, flat splotches all over the skin. The rash typically starts on the back, chest, and abdomen, though it can also extend to the arms and legs.
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Loss Of Appetite
The child might experience a loss of appetite because of symptoms caused by roseola. Just like when an older child or adult get a cold or the flu, they may not feel like eating. This is especially true when they get the fever that usually accompanies roseola. Fevers can make individuals feel like they cannot get comfortable and can reduce their appetite. Furthermore, if patients are stuffy or if their nose is running, they can get an upset stomach because of swallowing mucus. It is important to eat something because patients will need their strength to get through the time when the symptoms are present. Even bland food will be helpful. Rest, fluids, and food are the best medicines for this illness.
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Irritability And Fussiness
Children can experience irritability and fussiness because of the symptoms they might be suffering from because of roseola. Having a runny nose or sore throat can be very uncomfortable for a small child, making them fussier and more irritable. To ease the symptoms they are suffering from, caregivers need to use home remedies and over the counter medication. Ice pops or ice cream can soothe a sore throat. Medicines like acetaminophen can help treat any fever or body aches the child might be experiencing. The child will not know roseola will only last a short period and a fever can make it feel like they are deathly ill. But, roseola can be treated like any common cold. Parents want to keep their child as comfortable as possible to reduce the feelings of anxiety, irritability, or fussiness. This will help their child cope with the illness through its short life-span. If the child seems extraordinarily fussy or irritable, it is advisable to take them to see their doctor and if needed, the emergency room.