Seizures in children
Occasionally a child with roseola experiences a seizure brought on by a rapid rise in body temperature. If this happens, your child might briefly lose consciousness and jerk his or her arms, legs or head for several seconds to minutes. He or she may also lose bladder or bowel control temporarily.
If your child has a seizure, seek emergency care. Although frightening, fever-related seizures in otherwise healthy young children are generally short-lived and are rarely harmful.
Complications from roseola are rare. The vast majority of otherwise healthy children and adults with roseola recover quickly and completely.
Concerns for people with weak immune systems
Roseola is of greater concern in people whose immune systems are compromised, such as those who have recently received a bone marrow or organ transplant. They may contract a new case of roseola — or a previous infection may come back while their immune system is weakened. Because they have less resistance to viruses in general, immune-compromised people tend to develop more-severe cases of infection and have a harder time fighting off illness.
People with weak immune systems who contract roseola may experience potentially serious complications from the infection, such as pneumonia or encephalitis — a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the brain.
May 28, 2015
- Tremblay C, et al. Roseola infantum (exanthem subitum). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 8, 2015.
- Tremblay C, et al. Human herpes virus 6 infection in children: Clinical manifestations; diagnosis; and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 8, 2015.
- Mamishi S, et al. Prevalence of HHV-6 in cerebrospinal fluid of children younger than 2 years of age with febrile convulsion. Iranian Journal of Microbiology. 2014;6(2):87. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4281666/. Accessed April 8, 2015.
- Roseola infantum. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/miscellaneous_viral_infections_in_infants_and_children/roseola_infantum.html?qt=human herpesvirus 6&alt=sh. Accessed April 8, 2015.
- NINDS Reye's syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reyes_syndrome/reyes_syndrome.htm. Accessed April 8, 2015.
- What is the role of aspirin in triggering Reye's? National Reye's Syndrome Foundation. http://www.reyessyndrome.org/aspirin.html. Accessed April 8, 2015.
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