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Roseola vs. Hands, Foot, and Mouth Disease

By February 24, 2012 - 3:16pm
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Does anyone know the difference between Roseola and Hands, Foot, and Mouth disease. A girl at daycare had Roseola, but my daughter was diagnosed with HFMD. I noticed it on her bottom first. We haven't gone out until Wednesday night and that's when I noticed it. I don't think she could have caught it within the hour we were at the store, but apparently noone noticed it at daycare when I picked it up.

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Roseola, which is also known as sixth disease and roseola infantum, is a viral infection. It most commonly affects children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years old. Human herpesvirus (HHV) type 6 and type 7 cause roseola.

It is contagious and is spread from person to person through contact with an infected person's respiratory secretions or saliva. For example, a healthy child can contract the virus by sharing a cup with a child who has roseola. Roseola is contagious even if no rash is present. It generally takes a week or two for symptoms of infection to appear after exposure to the virus.

Roseola typically starts with a sudden, high fever, which is often greater than 103 F. Some children may have a slight sore throat, runny nose or cough along with or preceding the fever. Some children develop swollen lymph node in the neck. The fever lasts for 3 to 5 days.

Once the fever subside, a rash of many small pink spots or patches appears, but not always. The spots are generally flat, but some may be raised. There may be a white ring around some of the spots. The rash usually starts on the chest, back and abdomen and then spreads to the neck and arms. The rash may or may not spread to the face and the legs. The rash can last from several hours to several days before fading.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. It is caused by viruses that belong to the enterovirus group, which includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses and enteroviruses.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is spread from person to person by direct contact with the saliva, sputum or nasal mucus, fluid in blisters and stool of a person infected with the disease. The virus can be spread when the infected person touches objects and surfaces that are then touched by others.

Infected persons are most contagious during the first week of the illness. The viruses can remain in the body for weeks after symptoms have gone away.

Hand, foot and mouth disease usually starts with a fever, poor appetite, a vague feeling of being unwell and sore throat. One or 2 days after the fever starts, painful sores usually develop in the mouth. They begin as small red spots that blister and that often become ulcers.

A skin rash develops over 1 to 2 days. The rash has flat or raised red spots, sometimes with blisters. The rash is usually on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It may also appear on the knees, elbows, buttocks or genital area.

I hope this information is helpful.


February 24, 2012 - 5:44pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Yes, thank you. My daughter has bumps on the back of her legs, palm of her hands, around the mouth, on her bottom, and is producing a lot of saliva. I thought at first it was due to her 2 yr. old molars, but I also read that the hands, foot, and mouth disease causes this. My daughter's doctor said she had the hands, foot, and mouth disease, but the daycare teacher explained her daughter's symptoms for Roseola as the same that my daughter has.

February 24, 2012 - 8:11pm
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