The Sixth Disease: Here's What You Should Know

The Sixth Disease: Here's What You Should Know

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Sixth disease: symptoms, treatment and contagion. What to do in case of a sixth disease in a child or an adult. Course, duration and when to worry.

Therefourth, fifth and sixth diseasesthey are allexanthematous diseases. Don't leave yourselfintimidatefrom the termexanthematous diseases, the word "exanthema" comes from the Greek and means "blossoming" referring torashas the main symptom of disease.

Among the othersillnesses exanthematous remember:

  • Measles, also known as first disease
  • Scarlet fever or second disease
  • Rubella orthird disease
  • Scarlattinetta orfourth disease
  • Infectious rash, also known asfifth disease
  • Sixth diseaseo Critical rash
  • Chickenpox in children or St. Anthony's fire in adults
  • Smallpox
  • Kawasaki disease

Among all the exanthematous diseases mentioned, on this page we will focus onsixth diseaseorcritical rash. For the diseases in the list above caused by viruses and not, we also speak of viral rash.

Sixth disease

Popularly, thesixth diseaseit is also known asthree-day feverorroseola. It's about ainfectious disease(so yes,contagious) which occurs mainly in children between 6 months and two years of age.

We talk aboutsixth diseasebecause chronologically, in children, it arrives after measles, scarlet fever, rubella, scarlet fever and infectious esentema, even if the order is not always so linear and there are many exceptions.

L'critical rashis caused by one of theherpes virus, in particular the Herpes Virus type 6B. This news should not surprise you because even chickenpox in adults is caused by a herpes virus, herpes zoster. There are 7 Herpes viruses, the last one was isolated in 1990.


As stated, thesixth disease is contagious. How do you take ...? Or better,how does the infection happen?Transmission occurs through the nasopharyngeal (practically with sneezing or coughing) or the conjunctiva.

At home, among other precautions to be taken, it is good not to share the same towel with the person affected bysixth disease.

The disease becomes morecontagiousduring the phase in which they appearfeverish states.

The affected person can becontagiouseven before the appearance of therashes on the skin.


How long does the sixth disease? The course is variable, from 5 to 15 days. On average, it has aduration9 days.

Critical rash in children and adults

In children, the disease is most common between the ages of 6 and 18 months, it occurs within two years of the child's age. Are adults immune to it? Let's say that among theexanthematous infectionsit is among the rarest.

Primary infections in adults, when they appear, always do it withsymptomsmore severe than the same disease in childhood. If you've never had the sixth disease, know that this could cause you many problems, among the various typical symptoms we remember the itchy hands.

If you've already had the sixth disease, onereactivationit generally isasymptomaticor unless you are following immunosuppressive therapies or suffer from diseases that make your immune system useless (such as HIV).

Sixth disease: symptoms

The illnessexplodeswith a generally high fever, usually around 39-40 ° C. The patient reports general malaise, cold, sore throat, blisters on the tonsils, conjunctivitis ... and in some cases, even vomiting and diarrhea (often associated with the Human Herpes virus type 7).

After the first 3-5 days, the fever begins to subside giving way toskin outbursts, that is, the realrashmeasles-rubeoliform. The spots first affect the trunk and neck and only then spread to the face, hands and feet. Fortunately, therashhas a duration of 24-48 hours.

Convulsions and meningitis

When it comes tosixth disease in children, the fears of the parents may relate to the possiblecomplications. There high fever in predisposed children it can causeconvulsionsand, again in correspondence with the fever in children, in the first days, even a mild meningitis may occur. The meningism with and possible febrile seizures should be discussed with your trusted pediatrician.

Febrile convulsions manifest themselves with loss of consciousness, muscle stiffening, shaking of the legs and arms ... even if it is an event that scares, it should be noted that generallyit leaves no permanent consequences. It is important to consult the pediatrician, in any case, even in the absence of convulsions. The reason?

High fever in children could trigger the need for the use of antipyretic drugs. The pediatrician may deem it appropriate to prescribe antifebriles ... the only thing parents can do is to keep the child well hydrated, in a clean and welcoming environment.

Video: Startitis Disease Has Gripped Me! There is no known cure! (June 2022).


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