Childcare: What happens when your baby has roseola infection
The most common symptom of roseola is high fever that can go up to 103-104ºF. Typically, the fever lasts for three to five days and then goes away suddenly.
Roseola is a viral infection caused by Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV6) and rarely by Human Herpesvirus 7 (HHV7)
The most common symptom of roseola is high fever, which can go up to 103-104Ã�ï¿½Ã�ÂºF
Around 15-20% of children with roseola infantum globally get febrile convulsions or seizures brought on by the fever
As newborns get older, the immunity they’re born with fades away and their bodies take time to build it up again. This leaves a short period when they are especially prone to infections - this period lasts from six months to about two years of age. It is also during this time that most babies contract a (usually mild) viral infection called roseola.
Good thing is that once babies get this infection, they typically develop lifelong immunity to it.
Roseola infection can be frightening for new parents, though. Especially if their child develops pinkish-red rashes on the torso - a symptom that develops only some of the time with this infection.
Of course, nothing fights fear like knowledge. In that spirit, here’s everything that new parents need to know about roseola infection:
What is it
Roseola is also known as sixth disease. There’s no particular season for this ailment - it can happen at any time of the year. Symptoms can show up about a week or two after contracting the infection. In some cases, patients may not show any symptoms at all.
The most common symptom of roseola is high fever that can go up to 103-104ºF. Typically, the fever lasts for three to five days and then goes away as suddenly as it came on. Some children also get non-itchy, pinkish-red rashes which first appear on the belly and then spread to the other parts of the body.
Some other symptoms of roseola are:
- Loss of appetite
- Irritable and fussy child
- Mild respiratory problems like breathlessness
- Swelling in the lymph nodes
What causes it and how it spreads
Roseola is a viral infection caused by Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV6) and rarely by Human Herpesvirus 7 (HHV7). It is a communicable disease that spreads by coming in contact with an infected person - their breath, sneezes and saliva can transmit infection. Just inhaling the water droplets and moisture in the patients’ breath or sneezes can transmit infection. You can also catch this infection by coming into contact with a surface that the infected person has spit or sneezed on.
When to see a doctor
Around 15-20% of children with roseola infantum globally get febrile convulsions or seizures brought on by the fever. During these convulsions, the child could throw their arms or legs or shake in an unusual manner. The child may also lose control of their bowel movements or urinary bladder.
Instead of getting frightened, new parents should be alert and read the situation carefully. These seizures are usually short-lived and many babies often recover soon on their own. However, they should reach out for immediate medical if the convulsions become longer than a minute.
In children who get rashes, parents can gently roll a borosilicate glass over the rashes. If the rashes seem to disappear under the slightest pressure, it’s okay. If not, they should contact their paediatrician asap.
Roseola usually subsides on its own. Most of us get this infection in our childhood - we also get the roseola vaccine by the age of 4-5. Though it is rare for adults to get this infection, it's not unheard of. Preventive steps are also extremely important for people who look after more than one child
- Keep your child indoors if they’ve caught the infection.
- Wash your hands after feeding them, cleaning up after them.
- Clean their bibs and clothes separately.
- Keep other children away from the infected child until the fever breaks.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Roseola Infantum.
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