Within last few days I have seen quite a few babies with this disease. The reason I am writing about this is because the rash which occurs in this disease resemble measles (khasra, gobri, haam, asba) so that many parents, especially grandparents mistake this for measles and naturally get worried. Fortunately now days measles do not occur in babies who are vaccinated. However this mild febrile illness with rash is very common.
Roseola infantum typically occurs in babies aged 6 months to 3 years of age .Initially they have fever which can range from 38c to 40 c. Baby also has running nose and mild redness of eyes and at times loose motions. In spite of high temperature baby is well except for slight irritation. On 4th or 5th day the fever subsides and rashes appear. Rash is rose colored and discreet. It appears on trunk and then spreads to face and limbs. After 2 to 3 days the rash disappears. No treatment is required except for paracetamol for fever.
This disease is due to virus HHV-6 and HHV-7. Although in this disease rash resemble measles but we know that this is not measles because in cases of measles, although rash does come after the child has had fever for 3 to 4 days but fever does not subside and lasts for 10 days. Beside that the child is very miserable and ill. The last case I saw was 3 years ago and I hope that I do not see any child suffering from measles any more.
Dr Raj Rani Mitra