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Roseola Infantum Treatment & Management

  • Author: Christopher R Gorman, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
Updated: Jun 02, 2016

Medical Care

At present, no medical antiviral therapy is available for human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infection that causes roseola. Thus, treatment of roseola infantum is supportive.[11] However, in 2002, Rapaport et al reported that antiviral prophylaxis with ganciclovir may prevent HHV-6 reactivation in high-risk bone marrow transplant patients.[12] Further double-blinded randomized studies are needed.

Short- or long-term antiseizure medications are not recommended for infants who have had a febrile seizure secondary to roseola.

Inpatient care for roseola infantum consists of support with antipyretics and treatment of gastroenterologic, respiratory, hematologic, or CNS complications.



A pediatric consultation is recommended for infants with roseola infantum who have febrile seizures.



In roseola infantum, complications are rare. Given that seroconversion is practically universal, finding any of the complications that have been reported in the gastrointestinal, central nervous, pulmonary, and hematopoietic systems is rare.

Children who have seizures with roseola are not expected to have further febrile or nonfebrile seizures.



Because seroconversion in the United States is nearly 100%, isolation is not indicated. The infection is spread through saliva in both the acute phase and the chronic phase.

No risk appears to be present to pregnant women exposed to roseola. Care must be taken to distinguish this from rubella. No reports of infection or complications following exposure exist. This is probably because of the nearly universal seroconversion and latent infection. No sequelae of intrauterine infection are known. Isolation is not indicated.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Christopher R Gorman, MD Avenues Dermatology, Private Practice

Christopher R Gorman, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Paul Krusinski, MD Director of Dermatology, Fletcher Allen Health Care; Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Paul Krusinski, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Franklin Flowers, MD Department of Dermatology, Professor Emeritus Affiliate Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Florida College of Medicine

Franklin Flowers, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Mohs Surgery

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.



Medscape Drugs & Diseases wishes to recognize Stephen W White, MD† for his original contributions to this article.

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Roseola infantum. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Roseola infantum. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
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