Roseola Infantum in Emergency Medicine Follow-up

Updated: Mar 05, 2018
  • Author: Lisa S Lewis, MD; Chief Editor: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD  more...
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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:

  • Encephalitis (rare) [10]

  • 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. [11]

    • 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. [12] 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, [13] as well as the flare and severity of drug-induced hypersensitivity syndromes. [14]



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.