The sixth disease, also called Roseola Infantilis or Exanthema Subitum has an unknown etiology though it is firmly thought that it has a viral origin (human Herpes Virus-6).
It affects children between 6 and 18 months old, but it can also occur in the case of children over that age (pre-school and schoolchildren).
Incubation period: between 7 and 17 days.
Symptoms: high fever for 3 or 4 days; when the fever disappears an eruption is seen. It starts in the trunk and spreads to the arms, legs and face; it lasts 24 to 48 hours.
Despite the fever, the child has a good general condition but it is the pediatrician who decides upon the need to request lab tests if there are doubts about the diagnosis; a child of 2 or 3 years of age, feverish and having no apparent focus of infection is a child who must be under special control and vigilance (we will speak about Hidden Bacteriemia later).
The sixth disease is benign but the diagnosis is generally reached in a retrospective way.
The treatment consists in medical control and antithermics indicated by the pediatrician.
All feverish little children must have strict medical vigilance.