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Roseola, I Hate You

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Have you heard of roseola? If you have, I know how much you hate it. I do too. Roseola is a “mild illness” (although it doesn’t feel that way to the parent) caused by a virus infection that most commonly affects young children aged 6 month to around 3 years old. It typically starts as a sudden fever that lasts for around 3 to 5 days, which then suddenly stops, and a rash appears. The rash isn’t itchy, but it doesn’t look nice. It has been known to also affect older children, teens, and even adults on the rare occasion.

The MayoClinic describes other symptoms as:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability in infants and children
  • Mild diarrhea
  • Runny nose
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swollen eyelids

Seek immediate medical care if:

Your child could have a convulsion (febrile seizure) if his or her fever becomes high or spikes quickly. However, usually by the time you notice your child’s high temperature, the threat of a possible seizure has already passed. If your child does have an unexplained seizure, seek medical care immediately.

Call your child’s doctor if:

  • Your child has a fever greater than 103 F (39.4 C) Your child has roseola and the fever lasts more than seven days
  • The rash doesn’t improve after three days

My daughter, now 3 years old, had roseola at around 18 months. She had the fever for three days which we lowered with cool showers and by keeping the room cool, and then she got the rash over her chest.

Last week, my almost-one-year-old son got a sudden fever of 104 which made him very lethargic, he just wanted to be held and to sleep. He had absolutely no appetite for solids or water, wanting to nurse almost around the clock instead. We tried cooling him down with showers and a cold wet washcloth, but he kept burning up. The doctor advised to use Tylenol or Advil or both at 3 hour intervals to bring the fever down. We gave him Advil and that helped reduced it. On the fourth day, the fever disappeared and there was the rash. But his was not like his older sister’s, his was all over his face, neck and chest and it was quite red on his face.

Here are some photos-

photo 5
photo 4

Thankfully, it’s all over now and I have my happy little man back now. They say once you get infected with roseola, you can’t get it again. I hope that’s true.

Has your little one ever had roseola? Tell us about it.

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