Roseola in babies or children, a frequent contagion
Roseola is a viral childhood illness of the herpes virus family human type HVH-6, also referred to as “sixth disease”, or “sudden exanthema”. It affects young children, most often between 18 months and 6-7 years old. “Beyond that, it is still very rare, specifies the pediatrician author of a book on health from 0 to 16. There are cases of adult roseola, but the vast majority of children will catch this virus. in community, at the nursery for example. When a baby develops it, parents often find that there was a case close to their child. “
A virus that passes from one child to another easily
In nursery or at school, roseola can be quite contagious. Indeed, the disease is transmitted by saliva, and by secretions from the respiratory tract of an infected child, in the air (droplets from coughing or sneezing). Two transmission modes quite difficult to control for toddlers, who love to share everything!
- High fever
How do you recognize a roseola? If you think of pimples, know that this is not the first symptom. Childhood illness stands out above all by a rather brutal episode of fever which can last from 48 to 72 hours, after a incubation period of 5 to 15 days. “It is the roseola symptom that worries young parents the most: an isolated fever, very high, strong and brutal, of 40 °, which can impress, followed after only three days ofa rash“.
- Skin rash
“After three days appear from small red pimples and pink spots, most often disseminated on the abdomen, thorax, back and the roots of the limbs “, details the pediatrician.
- Pimples, but without fever, is it possible?
“While fever remains the most obvious symptom of roseola, it may be absent. It rarely happens, but it does.” Either way the diagnosis of the virus will be around the rash and the observation of pimples.
When to consult your pediatrician?
In case of isolated fever, the first symptom of roseola, and without any other sign, the pediatrician advises do not rush and wait two days before consulting. Indeed, it is impossible to know what is going on from the first hours: “For roseola, we proceed to un diagnosis by exclusion. That is, as long as there is fever, and only fever, we cannot make a diagnosis. It is therefore better to wait 48 hours to consult, and see if a rash develops. “
In this case, teleconsultation is quite possible to check the buttons.
On the other hand, if the fever is accompanied by new symptoms during this time (stomach aches, headaches, dehydration...) or that the rash does not appear after 2 or 3 days, it is preferable to go directly to a professional for additional examinations. This can hide, for example, a urinary tract infection.
Roseola or chickenpox? Buttons are different
Only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis, but while roseola and chickenpox may be confused, they are both based on different rashes that professionals are familiar with. Chickenpox first has a lower fever. But the buttons which then “come out” cover all parts of the body, including the face, scalp, feet, and form raised vesicles, which is not the case with roseola which gives pimples, redness, and without relief.
No treatment, but precautions to be taken
Like many viral infections, roseola cannot be combated with any treatment or antibiotics. There is also no vaccine against this benign virus. “It’s the antibodies that do the job,” says the doctor. Only good hydration and paracetamol to lower the fever are indicated “and only if the child does not seem to be able to withstand the fever. If not, parents can be patient for a while, the fever can also be beneficial in combating the fever. infection “encourages the pediatrician. It is also not advisable to give a cold bath to the child, it would only accentuate his discomfort.
On the other hand, because of the fever, it is essential to supervise the child well during this period: moisturize it sufficiently,make sure he urinates well, check its general condition. If they appear dehydrated or have a seizure due to fever, they should be seen immediately.
Ibuprofen in question
If the child does not cope with the fever, it is sometimes advisable to give him ibuprofen. Be careful though: Ibuprofen is not recommended in case of chickenpox. However, as long as the buttons are not out, impossible to know what it is. The anti-inflammatory is also not recommended in case of dehydration, or in children under 6 months.
Can we have roseola twice?
This is a question that we often ask ourselves: can the child catch up with roseola during his life “It is rare, answers the doctor. In the vast majority of cases, the immune response is strong enough so as not to see a second episode. I have seen little patients come back for another roseola in childhood, but this is quite rare. “
Is roseola contagious to adults?
It is estimated that 90% of adults have contracted roseola as a child, sometimes without even noticing it, so the risk is minimal, but it may exist. For the pediatrician, it is especially necessary refrain from coming into contact with fragile people or immunocompromised, to avoid a possible complication.
Contacts with pregnant women: to watch (without panicking)
When it comes to contact with a pregnant woman, it is good to know that roseola does not present no risk to the fetus. However, the expectant mother is advised to warn her doctor of the situation, in particular to monitor a possible fever during her pregnancy.