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Roseola is a mild viral illness of sudden onset and short duration that most frequently affects young children. Roseola is most common in children 6 to 24 months of age, with the average age of infection at around 9 months of age. Less frequently, older children, teens, and adults may be infected.
Roseola is primarily caused by a virus called human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and less commonly by human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7). These viruses are different from the viruses that cause genital herpes and cold sores, although they belong to the same family of viruses. While roseola is spread from person to person, the exact mechanism of transmission is not well defined. Experts postulate that respiratory secretions are most likely involved. The incubation period between virus exposure and onset of symptoms (fever, etc.) is nine to 10 days
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/8/2015
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