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Roseola Symptoms and Signs
The signs and symptoms of HHV-6 (or HHV-7) infection vary depending upon the age of the patient. Infants and toddlers routinely will develop a sudden high fever that lasts for three to five days. In addition, irritability, swollen glands (lymph nodes) in the front or back of the neck, runny nose, and possibly mild diarrhea may be present. Within 12-24 hours of the fever breaking, a rash rapidly appears. The rash is mainly located on the neck, abdomen, and trunk/back but may extend to the extremities. The rash appears as separate, raised 3 mm-5 mm lesions (papules) or as similarly sized flat (macular) spots. The skin is mildly red in color and temporarily blanches with pressure. The rash is not itchy or painful. The rash is not contagious, and it lasts for one to two days and does not return.
Older children who develop HHV-6 (or HHV-7) infection are more likely to have an illness characterized by several days of high fever and possibly runny nose and diarrhea. Older children less commonly develop a rash as the fever abates.
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