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Roseola infantum and its causal human herpesviruses

Authors

  • Rivka C. Stone MD, PhD,

    1. Dermatology, Pediatrics, Preventive Medicine, and Pathology, Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA
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  • Giuseppe A. Micali MD,

    1. Dermatology Clinic, University of Catania School of Medicine, Catania, Italy
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  • Robert A. Schwartz MD, MPH, FRCP (Edin)

    Corresponding author
    1. Dermatology, Pediatrics, Preventive Medicine, and Pathology, Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA
    • Correspondence

      Robert A. Schwartz, md, mph, frcp (edin)

      Dermatology, Rutgers University

      New Jersey Medical School

      185 South Orange Ave

      Newark, NJ 07103

      USA

      E-mail: roschwar@cal.berkeley.edu

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  • Funding sources: This review has no sources of funding.
  • Conflicts of interest: None.

Abstract

Roseola infantum, also known as exanthem subitum or sixth disease, is a generally benign febrile exanthem of infancy. It has a characteristic clinical course of high fever followed by the appearance of an exanthem upon defervescence. Febrile seizures are a frequent complication. Roseola is caused by infection with human herpesviruses 6 or 7 (HHV-6/7), which are acquired at a young age. Diagnosis is made by serology or by virus detection in body fluids and tissues. Treatment of roseola is supportive; recovery is usually complete with no significant sequelae. However, HHV-6/7 can reactivate in immunocompetent as well as immunocompromised individuals with severe systemic consequence.

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