Three-day fever in children: You can do that

Three days of high fever, then a red rash – you’ve probably heard of three-day fever before. Find out here what three-day fever actually is, how you can recognize it and how it is treated.

What is three day fever?

Three-day fever (also three-day fever,  exanthema subitum)  is a contagious viral disease that is accompanied by sudden and high fever. It usually occurs in the first year of life. By the age of three, over 95% of all children have already experienced this infectious disease. The three-day fever is therefore a disease in infancy and childhood. For many children, the three-day fever is even the first typical childhood illness .

cause of three-day fever

Three-day fever is triggered by two different herpes viruses that are transmitted via saliva, i.e. via the so-called droplet infection when coughing , sneezing or speaking. Even a perfectly healthy adult can infect a child this way. This is also often the case. Many babies or children often contract three-day fever from their parents.

Symptoms of three-day fever

Three-day fever is accompanied by a sudden and high fever of up to 40°C. Although your child has an increased body temperature, he is doing relatively well. There are cases in which other side effects such as diarrhea , vomiting , gastrointestinal infections , cough, swollen lymph nodes in the neck or eyelid edema occur. Usually this is not the case. In rare cases, three-day fever can also trigger a febrile seizure .

Course of the three-day fever

The fever phase usually lasts three days, but a maximum of eight days. After that, the body temperature returns to normal and a skin rash appears, which is reddish and blotchy and lasts for a few days. The rash can affect your child’s chest, abdomen, and back. This is usually not so bad for your child. Because if he has this rash, the fever is almost over and your child will recover quickly. The rash is therefore the final proof that your child really had the fever.

Treatment of three-day fever

As with many infectious diseases, there are no medications to treat three-day fever. Only the symptoms of three-day fever can be treated. With three-day fever, your child has a high fever of up to 40°C. It is therefore important to drink plenty of fluids, stay in bed and keep the fever under control as much as possible. Find out here how you can lower your child’s fever and which home remedies you can use to combat fever. However, if your child is prone to febrile seizures, you should definitely consult a pediatrician. He can tell you when wraps or medication are useful to reduce the fever. Even if you have a high fever, you should always contact your pediatrician. It must be ruled out that something else is behind your baby’s fever flare-up.

As with most infections, there is no vaccination against three-day fever. However, if your child has had three-day fever once in his life, he will be immune to this virus for his whole life.

Is the three-day fever a risk for pregnant women?

There is no special risk for pregnant women and their unborn child. As a rule, 95% of all adults have experienced three-day fever by the time they are three years old. So you carry the corresponding antibody and are immune to this virus. Basically, if the mother has never had three-day fever, it is possible for the virus to be transmitted to an unborn child.

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