What is Roseola?
Roseola is a common viral childhood illness that generally affects children between the ages of 6 months and two years. In fact, Roseola is so common that most children contract the illness before reaching kindergarten, after which they develop lasting immunity, making roseola much less common in adults and older children.
Roseola is generally considered a mild infection in which complications are rare, and if they do occur, they are generally related to the accompanying high fever. Once this fever has broken, a characteristic pink spotty or patchy rash usually develops and can last anywhere between a few hours to little over a week.
What are the Symptoms of Roseola?
While the main symptoms of roseola are a high fever that lasts for approximately 3-7 days followed by a rash, other symptoms may include:
- Swollen glands
- Mild diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen eyelids
Many children develop mild cases of roseola where the symptoms are very mild or go unnoticed or all together.
Roseola can be difficult to diagnose until the fever breaks and the rash develops. Your doctor may examine your child to determine if another illness such as an ear infection, strep throat or the flu could be causing the symptoms. While blood tests can determine if roseola anti-bodies are present, they are not generally necessary, as roseola is treated symptomatically and is a fairly mild illness that is usually left to run its course.
What Causes Roseola?
Roseola is caused by the human herpes virus (HHV) types 6 and 7. The herpes virus family causes a large number of illnesses such as cold sores, genital herpes, mono and chicken pox.
While the herpes virus strains that cause roseola are related to this family of viruses, each of the eight strains causes different illnesses. Like many childhood illnesses, roseola is commonly spread through saliva and respiratory droplets in the air from the coughs, sneezes and yawns of an infected person.
Help for Roseola
Roseola cannot be treated with medications such as antibiotics so the doctors usually recommend letting the illness run its course naturally. Children with roseola typically have a fever for a few days and thus the only necessary treatment is close monitoring and controlling of your child’s fever while boosting their immune system to promote faster recovery.
Parents should always avoid giving their children aspirin during a viral infection such as roseola, as complications such as Reye’s Syndrome have been documented.
Herbal and homeopathic remedies have long been known for their immune boosting qualities. In the case of viral infection, sometimes the only course of action to take is to strengthen and support a child’s developing immune system.
Herbal ingredients such as Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceous, Inula helenium and Withania somnifera can naturally and effectively support the body’s own defense mechanisms resulting in a speedier recovery and reduced symptoms without the risk of addiction or unwanted side effects.
More Information on Roseola
Tips for Caring for Your Child with Roseola:
- Make sure you child gets plenty fluids to prevent dehydration from the fever. Keep ice water, children's electrolyte solutions, and chilled juice in high supply. If you are still breastfeeding, breast milk is especially good at preventing dehydration.
- Use a cool sponge or face cloth or a warm bath to cool your child if the temperature becomes too high. Avoid the use of ice, cold baths or fans.
- Dress your child in light and loose-fitting cotton so that body heat can easily escape.
- Keep your child’s room cool and well ventilated.
- Ensure that your child gets plenty of bed rest and adequate sleep.
- Once the fever has broken and the roseola rash develops, your child is no longer contagious and will probably start feeling much better. The rash generally looks worse than it feels, since it does not cause itchiness or discomfort.