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What causes roseola?

Human herpes virus 6.

How is roseola spread?

Unknown; occurs most often in the spring or summer.

What are the symptoms of roseola?

Sudden onset of fever which may reach 104°F or higher. Convulsions sometimes occur as the temperature is rising. The fever usually lasts three to seven days. Usually on the fourth day, the fever breaks and a rash appears. At this time, the child usually does not look very ill. The rash may appear as small, slightly bumpy, rose-pink spots on light skin. It begins on the chest and abdomen, usually lasting hours to days. Infection also occurs without symptoms in many children.

How long is it contagious?

Unknown; probably communicable during the fever phase and before the rash appears. Immunity develops following the illness.

How can I prevent infection?

  1. Practice good hand hygiene.
  2. Items that children put in their mouths and surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized daily.


For more information, please call the Northern Kentucky Health Department at 859.363.2070.

Revised November 2014