Roseola is a usually mild viral infection that is common among children. Most cases occur between the ages of 6 months and 3 years, and more than 75% of children have had roseola by the time they are 2. Roseola often starts with a high fever, usually followed by a distinctive rash just as the fever breaks. High fever can cause complications, so parents should watch their children' s temperatures carefully and keep in contact with their pediatrician. Treatment is usually aimed at bringing down the fever and making sure the child stays hydrated. Adults can sometimes get roseola, too.
Roseola is caused by the human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) and, occasionally, human herpes virus 7. These are not the same herpes viruses that cause cold sores or genital herpes. Roseola is spread through saliva and respiratory secretions, so coughing and sneezing can spread the virus. The incubation period is 5 - 15 days. It is contagious, whether or not the child has a rash.
Your child's health care provider will look for the rash and may take blood to check for other conditions and complications. Your health care provider will take your child's temperature and talk to you about how to treat your child's roseola at home.
There is no cure for roseola. Most treatments reduce fever, letting the infection run its course. Most children get better within a week.
Herbal teas can help reduce fever. Always ask your pediatrician before giving any herb or supplement to a child. Adult doses are listed, unless otherwise specified. To determine a child' s dose for herb teas, ask your pediatrician. For some herb teas, adult doses may be given to the mother to treat breastfeeding babies. Be sure to check with your pediatrician before using herbs while breastfeeding or before giving herbs to your child.
Your child should get plenty of rest and fluids.
Always ask your doctor before giving any vitamin or supplement to a child.
Herbs are generally a safe way to strengthen and tone the body's systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your health care provider to diagnose your problem before starting any treatment. You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts).
To determine the right dose for a child, ask your pediatrician -- and always ask your doctor before giving herbs to a child.
These herbs are often used to reduce fever:
Use equal parts of the above herbs to brew a tea. If you are breastfeeding, you can drink 1 cup three to four times per day to pass the benefits along to your baby.
Garlic and ginger tea with one to three cloves garlic (Allium sativum) and one to three slices of fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) may help stimulate the immune system and prevent upper respiratory infections. You can add lemon and a sweetener for flavor. Do not give honey to children under 2 years old.
Few studies have examined the effectiveness of specific homeopathic remedies. Professional homeopaths, however, may recommend one or more of the following treatments for roseola based on their knowledge and clinical experience. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person's constitutional type -- your physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate remedy for a particular individual.
Acupressure for children may be calming and help reduce the fever.
Gentle massage may help your child feel better. A foot massage may help; however, some children will not want to be touched.
Most children get well within about a week with no problems. If your child has a seizure, call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.
Avoiding infected children is the only way to prevent roseola. There is no vaccine.
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Gamkrelidze N, Butsashvili M, Barabadze K, Kamkamidze G. Rare recurrence of seizures in children with episodes of febrile seizures associated with herpes virus 6 infection. Georgian Med News. 2006;134:88-90.
Yildirim M, Aridogan BC, Baysal V, Inaloz HS. The role of human herpes virus 6 and 7 in the pathogenesis of pityriasis rosea. Int J Clin Pract. 2004;58(2):119-121.
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