Tomato fever in kids: Symptoms that tend to confuse parents

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While reopening of faculties has introduced again some normalcy in the lives of youngsters, an amazing assault of allergic reactions, flu, typhoid, dengue infections are taking a giant bodily and psychological toll on them. Tomato flu (hand foot and mouth illness) is one an infection that is giving parents sleepless nights. Said to be extremely contagious, it’s spreading amongst kids, particularly faculty going kids. We spoke to pediatricians from three completely different cities to perceive the flu, its indicators and signs and therapy course.

Early signs of tomato fever

Like another fever, tomato fever additionally presents with fever and slight myalgia (muscle ache) however there isn’t a eye congestion or nasal discharge. “Drooling of the saliva from the mouth due to ulcers in the mouth is very common and rashes are seen on the buttocks, palms of hands, and soles of feet. One might think that it is chicken pox initially but the rash seen in the mouth, palm, and sole of the foot is diagnostic of tomato fever,” shares Dr. C. Jayakumar, Clinical Professor and Head, General Pediatrics, Amrita Hospital, Kochi.

The prognosis is generally straightforward because the rash is usually seen in the mouth, buttocks, palm of the hand, and sole of the foot. Sometimes it’s seen in the area of the knee cap as properly. Diagnosis is simple for many medical doctors as there’s additionally a seasonal prevalence.

But the preliminary signs are non-specific and should resemble any viral an infection. Dr Vaidehi Dande, Child Specialist and Neonatologist at Symbiosis Hospital, Mumbai explains, “High-grade fever, intense body ache and joint pains are common in tomato fever and usually precedes the appearance of rash. There is no characteristic symptom or sign which differentiates tomato flu from other forms of flu. For doctors, there is no specific clinical or laboratory test which can be ordered to confirm the diagnosis. So only after the appearance of rash can one be sure about the diagnosis. Having a high ‘index of suspicion’ helps.”

So is tomato flu simply one other title for hand foot and mouth illness? Dr Vaidehi explains, “The rash in HFMD looks different from that in tomato flu. In HFMD it is pin point size, fluid filled and appears around the mouth, elbows, knees and buttocks.In tomato flu, rash becomes big and fluid filled and might appear like a tomato. Hence the name ‘tomato flu’. Severity of fever and other symptoms is much less in HFMD as compared to tomato fever.”

Dr Parvinder Singh Narang, Director and Head of division of Pediatric, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi provides, “Hand foot mouth disease (HFMD) occurs every year but in the last years all kinds of infections were less in children because of lock down. Symptoms of the so-called Tomato fever can be confusing the parents or doctors because they haven’t seen cases of HFMD in the last 2 years. One thing is definitely happening that the number of cases of HFMD is higher this year because during the lockdown schools and nursery play groups were closed for more than two years. HFMD generally occurs once in a lifetime but this year, there is a more susceptible population, hence more cases.”

How to cease its unfold

Tomato flu and hand foot and mouth illness are extremely contagious in kids. “They should avoid contact with those who have tomato fever. Children should not share cups or plates with other children at school. Also kissing should be avoided. For most adults, it is not infectious, but it is advised not to use utensils used by the infected child. Hand washing and basic hygiene may help in prevention,” explains Dr Jayakumar.


Any youngster who has fever needs to be remoted at dwelling until fever decision, if there’s a rash, isolation needs to be continued until all of the rashes dry up and there aren’t any new rashes showing. This may take up to 5–7 days. Children needs to be repeatedly advised about correct hygiene. Infected youngster shouldn’t be allowed to share toys, garments, meals, or different gadgets with different non-infected kids. Cleanliness of environment and common sanitation needs to be ensured, provides Dr Dande.


Most of the youngsters affected with tomato fever want therapy solely to ease the signs of tomato fever. For mouth ulcers, cream or gel that accommodates lignocaine and acetylsalicylic acid may be utilized earlier than taking meals for relieving the ache. For kids who’ve bother taking meals due to painful sores in the mouth, chilly meals resembling ice lotions may be given after the applying of the mouth gel. Ice lotions might be a welcome deal with for youths they usually might assist to keep away from the necessity for intravenous fluids for dietary necessities.

For fever, acetaminophen (paracetamol)in a Dose of 15 mg/ kilogram physique weight 4 hourly may be administered. Fexofenadine can be utilized in kids to relieve the signs of itching. There is not any want for any antibiotics or antivirals in the administration of hand foot mouth illness /tomato fever.

How to stop monsoon sicknesses

Dr. Prakash, Head Pediatric Department, Prashanth Hospital, Kolathur, Chennai, “The illnesses that are frequent throughout wet season are the respiratory infections like frequent chilly , water borne illnesses like typhoid , hepatitis A and illness that are unfold by mosquitoes, which breeds in water just like the dreadful dengue.

To keep away from and stop frequent flu, keep away from taking part in in water, going to crowded locations, taking chilly gadgets (ice lotions/ carbonated drinks) and utilizing face masks in larger children.

To stop water borne illnesses like typhoid, kids should have good hand hygiene, they need to be taught to wash arms with cleaning soap and water earlier than meals, ingesting boiled water and avoiding partially cooked quick meals gadgets.

And lastly to stop dengue, which is brought on by mosquitos which bites throughout the day, care have to be taken not to enable any stagnation of water, water tanks and properly to be coated. This prevention is relevant to faculties’ water storage techniques extra importantly, for the reason that main time spent throughout the day by these children is at college. Tomato fever.

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