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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.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.


  • Medicines to treat the symptoms of exanthem subitum may have some unwanted side effects. They may give your child an allergic reaction or an upset stomach. He may throw up or have loose bowel movements. If left untreated, your child's fever may get so high that it may cause convulsions. He may also have meningitis (infection of the lining of his brain) which may cause brain damage. Diagnosing and treating exanthem subitum as soon as possible may decrease your child's symptoms faster. He may also be able to go back to his usual activities earlier. Ask your child's caregiver if you have questions or concerns about your child's treatment, medicines, or care.


Informed consent:

A consent form is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.


An IV is a small tube placed in your child's vein. Caregivers use the IV to give your child medicine or liquids.


  • Anti-virus medicine: These medicines kill viruses before they multiply some more and cause harm.
  • 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.


  • Blood tests: Your child may need blood tests to give caregivers information about how his body is working. The blood may be taken from your child's arm, hand, finger, foot, heel, or IV.
  • Urine analysis: A sample of your child's urine is collected and sent to a lab for tests.

Vital signs:

Caregivers will check your child's blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask you or your child about his pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your child's current health.

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Exanthem Subitum (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex