Sixth disease, symptoms and causes

Sixth disease, symptoms and causes

Also referred to as a critical rash or 3-day fever, the sixth disease primarily affects children between six months and two years of age. To treat it, you should always go to your pediatrician, but some natural remedies can also help relieve symptoms.

sixth disease

  • What is the sixth disease
  • Symptoms of the sixth disease
  • How is the sixth disease treated?

What is the sixth disease

The sixth disease is a viral exanthematous disease , which affects mainly in childhood, between six months and two years . It is also referred to as a critical rash or 3-day exanthematous fever , because it usually subsides on the third day. 

Being caused by the Herpes Virus 6B (HHV-6B), once resolved it could reappear after some time when the immune system is weakened or under stress, but with extremely mild symptoms. 

The sixth disease is contagious,  is transmitted by the respiratory route (through saliva droplets or nasal secretions) and also attacks white blood cells . Its incubation foresees a period between 5 and 10 days. 

Symptoms of the sixth disease

Symptoms occur in two distinct phases:

> the pre-exanthematic phase is characterized by high fever , general malaise, sore throat and cold , inflamed pharynx, enlarged retro-ear glands, loss of appetite , possible conjunctivitis and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea ;

> after 3-5 days  the exanthematic period passes , in which the fever drops and the rash appears characterized by flat and pink spots , which appear on the neck and trunk and then spread to the rest of the body. The spots are surrounded by a white halo, do not itch and do not peel . After a few days they lighten until they disappear: in that moment , muscle and joint pains may occur . 

Diagnosis occurs by clinical observation . Since it is easy to confuse sixth disease with other exanthematous diseases, only blood tests can give a certain result. However, it is often preferred not to perform them, given the benign course of the disease.

How is the sixth disease treated?

Being viral in nature , this pathology is treated symptomatically and not causally. The doctor will provide information on the most suitable antipyretic to lower the fever and quell the burning in the throat. 

Some natural remedies can be combined with drug therapy, to speed up remission times and soothe skin blemishes:

elderflower herbal tea : with anti-inflammatory and febrifugal properties, it is also useful for moisturizing in case of vomiting and dysentery;

aloe vera gel : for skin use, it has refreshing, moisturizing and soothing properties, it disinfects the skin and keeps it more elastic;

probiotics : they activate the immune system, enrich the intestinal flora , fight intestinal infections and help sedate dysentery phenomena;

turmeric and honey : to soothe the throat it is possible to create a natural “syrup” with warm honey and a pinch of turmeric powder, with anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

For total remission it is important to rest , drinking plenty of water to hydrate and refresh the body.

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