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Roseola Infantum in Emergency Medicine Follow-up

  • Author: Lisa S Lewis, MD; Chief Editor: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD  more...
Updated: Jan 15, 2015


Because of the ubiquity of the virus, isolation of patients with HHV-6 infection is probably unnecessary.



Complications of roseola infantum may include the following:

  • Meningitis
    • According to Yoshikawa and Asano, the presence of HHV-6 in cerebrospinal fluid has been demonstrated by polymerase chain reaction in 3 of 8 children with febrile seizures and in 3 of 3 children with encephalitis.[10]
    • CNS primary invasion and complications by HHV-6 appear to occur during the acute febrile portion of the illness.
  • Latency - Like other herpes viruses, HHV-6 and HHV-7 may persist in the salivary glands, peripheral blood, and brain.[11] HHV-6 may reactivate following organ or marrow transplant and may mimic graft versus host disease. It additionally may have a possible role in the development of temporal lobe epilepsy in immunocompromised patients,[12] as well as the flare and severity of drug-induced hypersensitivity syndromes.[13]


See the list below:

  • The clinical course of roseola infantum is acute and benign, and complete recovery without sequelae is expected.
  • The skin eruption gradually fades and resolves without scarring.

Patient Education

For excellent patient education resources, visit eMedicine's Children's Health Center. Also, see eMedicine's patient education article Skin Rashes in Children.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Lisa S Lewis, MD Attending Physician, Division of Emergency Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Lisa S Lewis, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Grace M Young, MD Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland Medical Center

Grace M Young, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Kirsten A Bechtel, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine; Co-Director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital

Kirsten A Bechtel, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Garry Wilkes, MBBS, FACEM Director of Clinical Training (Simulation), Fiona Stanley Hospital; Clinical Associate Professor, University of Western Australia; Adjunct Associate Professor, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Discrete rose-pink macules/maculopapules characteristic of roseola infantum.
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