It turns out from her symptoms that Bear most likely had roseola (sometimes called roseola infantum or three day rash) which is a highly infectious virus that mostly affects children under two but can go up to around 4 years old, but rarely has any long-term effects.
The symptoms, which match Bear’s exactly, are a fever which can get to 40°C and usually lasts for 3-4 days, sometimes a mild sore throat and mild diarrhoea but otherwise, no other indicators other than a whiney, grumpy child who doesn’t want to eat as much as normal and just isn’t quite their normal self. And then, as the fever subsides, a rash of small pink spots appears, mostly on the torso, spreading to the arms and legs. But the rash typically lasts a couple of days at most and then it’s all over. And there are rarely any complications from the virus.
On Tuesday, Bear woke up very, very hot. Her temperature was around 40.2°C. But she was pretty much ok and we couldn’t work out why it was so high. A friend suggested her molars might be behind it, but they’re all through so it wasn’t that. For the rest of the week, her temperature hovered around this point, dipping down a degree or two during the day or after medicine, but always high in the evening, overnight and first thing in the morning. She was mostly her usual self, if a little more sensitive and eating less. She saw a doctor on Thursday who said her throat looked a little sore, but couldn’t see any other causes and then, on Thursday evening, she filled her pull-ups and overspilled them with poo. Maybe not such a mild dose of diarrhoea then?! And she kept complaining of stomach pain and that her mouth hurt. But we think she meant her throat as she only mentioned it if she tried to eat.
Four days after her first spike in temperature, Bear woke from a comparatively ok night’s sleep and her temperature had dropped right down to 37°C. She seemed brighter and a bit happier too. Then she asked for some water, which she gulped down and promptly vomited back up again (having children has taught me from bitter experience that a cup full of water on an empty stomach is a messy combination!). Almost within minutes of doing so, she started to come out in pinky-red spots all over her back, starting at her neck and then more appeared on her tummy and on her arms and the tops of her legs. Of course, this set off alarm bells as rashes always do.
It was spreading across her body as we watched and was very similar to the rash Bunny had when she had a reaction to Amoxicillin (an antibiotic medicine she was given for an ear infection). So our initial thoughts were that she was reacting to the Ibuprofen or paracetemol medicines she’d had two days earlier. But it didn’t get as bad as Bunny’s had been and within about an hour had faded away again.
She was grouchy, sensitive and drowsy for the rest of the day, but otherwise fine. Her temperature rose slightly, but not above 38°C and the rash came and went but never returned as vibrantly as when it first appeared. Until the following morning when it was all over her legs and feet, but as it wasn’t causing any discomfort, we didn’t panic.
We’re hoping that this is pretty much the end of it now and that roseola is indeed what she had. She certainly couldn’t have had the symptoms more precisely anyway! Thank goodness it was nothing more serious, but it wasn’t one we’d heard of before, so I thought it would be useful to share our experience. It’s also good to know that once they’ve had it they are immune from it for good. So Yay to another virus we can tick off the list!