Devi or Maata?

“Dr, mere bacche ko maata/devi aayi hai...”

The literal translation of this sentence is, ’Dr, my child has got mother/goddess’.

While this would sound funny to anyone who is not from India, we understand this perfectly.

Traditionally in India, we would assume illnesses to be caused by some God in our pantheon of divine forces.

Maata’ or ‘devi’ in Marathi is another name for pox infections in India.

Badi maata is small pox and choti maata is a name for chicken pox.

In this season we are facing a lot of cases of fever with rash.

Now rashes come in different types; macular,papular,vesicular or pustular.

Or to put it in colloquial language, laal phodi,paani ka phodi or daana.

There are some rashes which have a typical pattern.

We see a lot of viral rashes in this season. So, let us take a look at the most common rash types.

Hand foot mouth disease

The child gets reddish or water filled boils on hands legs and face. The child can also get similar lesions inside her mouth and throat. This may be accompanied by cold cough and fever.

Chicken pox

The rash is similar to hand foot mouth but will be present on the chest, abdomen and back also. The rash and fever severity is usually more severe than HFM. But in vaccinated children, the severity of the disease is much lesser.

Dengue fever

It is a reddish rash which can come all over the body. The rash can be accompanied by itching.


This rash typically begins from the hairline or behind the ear and then covers the entire body. Usually accompanied by high fever, cold and cough. Vaccinated children can get a milder version of the same.


This is also known as 3 day measles or German measles. Its looks like a milder and shorter lasting variant of measles.

But if this disease affects a pregnant woman, especially in the first trimester, it can cause eye, ear and heart abnormalities in the fetus. But the MMR and MR vaccine provide very effective coverage against this disease.

Now most of the viral rashes are accompanied by other symptoms like cold cough fever of varying severity which can last between 3-7 days.

Most of the rashes appear around the third day after onset of other symptoms.

Most of the viral illnesses are self limiting, barring complications.

In all viral illnesses it is very important to ensure that the child is kept symptomatically comfortable.

Some of the viral infections like HFM, chicken pox, measles, etc are highly contagious.

Your doctor can guide you regarding the contagious period and symptomatic treatment for each individual disease.

It is very important that the child does not come in contact with other children in case of contagious diseases to prevent the widespread of the disease.

As parents, we should be responsible and ensure that not just our child but other children are also prevented from getting infected.

To all my little ones enjoying the Navratri season and Durga Pujo, stay safe and be healthy.

Aye Haalo!!! Joy Joy Durga!!!

PS- next week we will see how the Everest adventure changed a child’s personality ,from a parent’s perspective as well as the child’s point of view.






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