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Exanthem Subitum


  • Exanthem (eg-ZAN-them) subitum, also known as roseola (ro-ZE-o-lah) infantum, is an infection caused by a virus (germ). This condition is common in children two years of age and younger. It is usually caused by the human herpesvirus type 6. These viruses may come from other children or adults with exanthem subitum. When they talk, cough, or sneeze, droplets containing the viruses are left hanging in the air. Your child may breathe in the infected air or swallow the droplets and develop the condition.
  • Signs and symptoms may include fever, skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and cough. He may also be fussy, confused, feel weak, and lose his appetite. He may have a seizure (convulsion) if his fever gets very high. Your child's caregiver will do a complete medical history and physical examination. Your child may also have blood and urine tests to make sure his fever is not caused by other conditions. The symptoms may go away on its own even without treatment. Your child's caregiver may give anti-virus and fever medicines, and special oral liquids to treat your child's symptoms. Diagnosing and treating exanthem subitum as soon as possible may help your child feel better faster and prevent complications.



  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: These medicines are given to decrease your child's pain and fever. They can be bought without a doctor's order. Ask how much medicine is safe to give your child, and how often to give it.
  • Keep a current list of your child's medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list and the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Give vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Ask before you change or stop giving your child his medicines.

Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.

Wash your hands and your child's hands often.

This will help prevent the spread of germs. Encourage everyone in your house to wash their hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom. Also wash hands after changing diapers and before preparing or eating food.

Keep your child away from others.

Try to keep your child away from others while he has a fever and feels bad. While your child is sick, he may be contagious (able to spread his sickness). Do not send your child to school or daycare until his fever is gone and he is feeling better.

For more information:

Contact the following for more information:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
    141 Northwest Point Boulevard
    Elk Grove Village , IL 60007-1098
    Phone: 1- 847 - 434-4000
    Web Address:


  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child's skin is itchy or swollen.
  • You and your child cannot make it to his next appointment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition, medicine, or care.


  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child appears very weak.
  • Your child cannot eat or drink.
  • Your child becomes blue, has a convulsion, or becomes unconscious.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.