Roseola 435

Diagnosis

Diagnosis may be difficult because the disease resembles several other infections. The diagnosis can be confirmed by taking at least two different blood samples several weeks apart and identifying antibodies against the infection. Because it usually takes many days for these tests to show positive results, treatment generally begins before test results are available.

Symptoms

Mild fever, loss of appetite, and slight headache may develop slowly about a week after a tick bite. However, sometimes symptoms appear suddenly— high fever, prostration, aching, tender muscles, severe headache, nausea, and vomiting. Two to six days after symptoms appear, small spots appear on wrists and ankles, spreading centrally over the rest of the body. As the infection progresses, the original red spots may begin to look more like bruises or bloody patches under the skin. The illness subsides after about two weeks, but untreated cases with very high fever may be fatal as a result of pneumonia or heart failure.

Treatment

Before antibiotic treatment was available, between 20 percent and 30 percent of patients would die. Today, drugs such as tetracycline or chlorampheni-col usually cure the disease. Treatment in an intensive care unit may also be necessary for children with abnormal bleeding or for complications that affect the brain, heart, lungs, liver, or kidneys.

Prevention

People in tick-infested areas should use insect repellent and examine themselves daily for ticks.

Ronald McDonald Houses A group of special houses around the world which provide a "home away from home" for families who need a place to stay while a sick child in the family is cared for at a nearby hospital. To date, more than 10 million families with sick children have stayed at a Ronald McDonald House, saving more than $120 million in housing and meal costs.

Dedicated administrative and volunteer staff focus on the family so the family can focus on the needs of their sick child. Families support and coach each other, and children, often self-conscious and embarrassed about their illnesses, feel at home in the warm and nurturing environment.

The first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974 with the efforts of Fred Hill, a Philadelphia Eagles football player. When his daughter Kim was diagnosed with leukemia, Hill and his wife camped out on hospital chairs and benches, eating food from vending machines. They noticed other families, many who had traveled great distances, suffering the same fate.

Hill was introduced to Dr. Audrey Evans, a pediatric oncologist at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia who had dreamed of providing temporary housing for families like the Hills. Along with considerable help from local McDonald's franchisees and Hill's Eagle teammates, Hill and Dr. Evans founded the first Ronald McDonald House.

roseola (exanthem subitum) A common infectious disease of early childhood that primarily affects youngsters aged six months to two years. Only about a third of children with the infection have any symptoms, and all children recover completely.

Cause

The source of this infection was not known until 1986, when scientists discovered that the cause was human herpes virus-6 (HHV6). Still, its etiology is not fully understood. Because scientists have found HHV6 in the saliva of healthy children, it is believed that the virus may be spread through contact with saliva of family members or other children who carry the virus but do not have symptoms.

Research suggests that after an active infection, HHV6 can become latent, hiding in the body to reappear later to cause other illnesses. Some scientists suspect it may be linked to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Symptoms

Most cases of roseola occur in spring and summer. It is characterized by the abrupt onset of irritability and fever, which may climb as high as 105°F. By the fourth or fifth day, the fever breaks, dropping to normal. At about the same time, a rash appears on the

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Confident Kids

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