Fever with rash


Fever with a rash is found in the well-known childhood diseases such as measles, chickenpox, scarlet fever and rubella. The diseases are caused by viruses and bacteria and are transmitted via droplet infection, i.e. sneezing and coughing. Some of the highly contagious diseases can also be transmitted through the hands. The well-known, highly contagious childhood diseases can only appear in adulthood.

These diseases cause fever and rash in the child

  • Three-day fever

  • measles

  • Ringlet rubella

  • rubella

  • Scarlet fever

  • chickenpox

  • Mouth-hand-foot disease

  • Hives

These disorders cause a fever and rash in adults

  • Three-day fever

  • Shingles (herpes zoster)

  • Glandular Pfeiffer fever

  • Scarlet fever

  • syphilis

  • Lyme disease

  • Dengue fever

  • Typhus

Known childhood diseases such as burl, rubella, rubella, scarlet fever, chickenpox, hand-foot-mouth disease or hives can also occur in adults.


Most illnesses that include fever and rash are caused by viruses or bacteria.
Viruses cause the following diseases. The herpes viruses HHV 6 and 7 are responsible for three-day fever, the measles virus for measles and the parvovirus B19 for rubella. Rubivirus causes rubella, while varicella-zoster virus causes chickenpox and shingles. Hand, foot and mouth disease, also known as foot and mouth disease, is caused by the Coxsackie virus and enteroviruses. Pfeiffer's glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and the tropical disease dengue fever is caused by the dengue virus.

You can read more about the virally caused rashes here: Skin rash with three-day fever, skin rash with rubella, skin rash with chickenpox or skin rash with glandular fever

Illnesses caused by bacteria and with fever are for example scarlet fever or Lyme disease. Scarlet fever is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, syphilis by Treponema pallidum and borreliosis by Borrelia burgdorferi.

You can read more about skin rashes caused by bacteria here:Scarlet fever rash or tick bite rash

Hives (urticaria) can also be accompanied by a rash and fever. Various bacteria and parasites can be responsible for this. In some cases, the cause of hives remains unexplained.


The diagnosis of the cause of fever with a rash is usually made purely clinically, as the rashes are all characteristically different from one another. What is important here is the location of the rash, when it occurred and of course how old the person affected is.
To confirm a suspected infection, you can take a blood sample and determine the leukocyte value, i.e. the value of the white blood cells. If there is leukopenia, a lack of leukocytes, an infection is very likely. However, this is usually not necessary as the diagnosis is fairly certain without a blood sample.
To identify a specific pathogen as confirmation, one can determine the antibodies in the serum against the specific pathogen that is suspected.

You might also be interested in this topic: How do I know if my fever is contagious?


Since a rash with a fever can have a variety of causes, therapy depends on the underlying problem. If a bacterium is the trigger it can be treated with antibiotics. In the case of viral pathogens, it becomes more difficult because there is no specific therapy against these viruses; symptomatic treatment is carried out. That means that the symptoms like fever are combated individually and not the pathogen itself. But this is not a bad thing, since viral diseases usually limit themselves and heal on their own.

Three-day fever

Three-day fever (Exanthema subitum, Roseola infantum) is a highly contagious disease that mainly affects infants and young children. Nonetheless, three-day fever can also affect older children, adolescents and adults. The disease is caused by the herpes viruses HHV6 and 7 (human herpes viruses). 7 to 17 days can pass between the time of infection and the onset of the disease.

You can find more about this on our website Rash in three-day fever

accompanying symptoms in three-day fever

Three-day fever typically lasts for three to five days. The three-day fever then begins with a febrile illness phase. During this phase you may experience breathing difficulties, coughing and gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea and vomiting. It is important to ensure that those affected, especially if they are babies or children, drink enough fluids, as a lot of fluids are lost with diarrhea. After the fever subsides, a skin rash forms, which is typical of the disease.
The rash (exanthema) often appears on the abdomen, chest, back and can spread to arms and legs, rarely even to the face and scalp. The rash is fine-spotted, bright red. The rash disappears after about three days. Many infants and toddlers are bruised and extremely cranky a few days after the symptoms have subsided. In addition, in many children the disease goes unnoticed and without symptoms. Three-day fever leaves a lifelong immunity. Second diseases are very rare.

Duration of three-day fever

It usually takes 7 to 17 days for the disease to break out. The three-day fever manifests itself initially in the form of a characteristic, intense fever phase that lasts for three to five days. After the fever phase, the typical rash develops, which also lasts for about three days. As a result, there is usually a three-day phase of fever, followed by a rash that lasts for three days. Overall, this means that the three-day fever lasts for an average of six to eight days. The prognosis is good and the children recover quickly from the disease. In many children, three-day fever is asymptomatic and goes unnoticed.