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August 1959

Residual Encephalopathy Following Roseola Infantum

Author Affiliations

North Kingston, R. I.; Boston
From the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Medicine, The Children's Medical Center, Boston.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;98(2):144-152. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070020146002

Introduction  Roseola infantum, first described by Zahorsky1 in 1913, is generally considered a benign disease; indeed, Kempe2 noted there are no reported fatalities. Serious sequelae are usually stated to be virtually nonexistent. However, the possibility has been suggested in a comprehensive view of the subject,3 that some of the sudden deaths in infancy may be caused by roseola. No clear instances of this have been reported, no doubt owing to the difficulties of making a positive identification of the disease in the preeruptive stage and the inability to isolate the virus in tissue culture.Roseola infantum is the commonest exanthem under the age of 2 years, and infection is perhaps almost universal before the age of 5 years.3 The disease is characterized by the relative absence of prefebrile prodromata, an abrupt onset, and a rapid temperature rise. Irritibility and listlessness are variable; the patient is usually