A new viral disease called Tomato Flu affects children in many states of India

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Indian health authorities and pediatric doctors are on high alert after a new mysterious viral disease called tomato flu or tomato fever broke out in various states in India and are affecting only young children.

Caseloads are increasing exponentially since the first case was identified on the 6th of May 2022 in the state of Kerala in India.
 
As of now, the disease can be found in Kerala, (82 infants confirmed with the disease and another 176 under investigation), Tamil Nadu (27 infants confirmed and another 68 under investigation), Karnataka (21 infants confirmed and another 92 under investigation), Odisha (26 infants confirmed and another 143 under investigation.), Maharasthra (4 infants confirmed) and Delhi (3 infants confirmed).
 
Most of the cases that are confirmed have been diagnosed in children below 5 years. Almost all have been admitted to the local government hospitals. The number of children admitted to the private hospitals is not yet been included in the tally yet as it expected to be at least another two to three hundred more.
 
It is believed that perhaps more than a thousand cases are already in India now as health authorities first downplayed the seriousness of the disease coupled with the fact that many doctors do not know how to properly diagnose the disease of which much is not known about at the moment.
 
The viral disease is called tomato flu because it causes tomato-shaped blisters on the body. Most of the children diagnosed with tomato flu are experiencing fever, rashes, and skin irritation. Some children are also suffering from dehydration.

Tomato Flu Virus/ Fever Symptoms :

  • Firstly, Body aches and pains
  • Then, an extremely high fever
  • After that, Swelling of the joints
  • Secondly, Rashes which should be of the size of tomatoes on the skin
  • In addition, Irritation in the mouth due to the medication of this virus4
  • Moreover, some patients also told that they saw worms which have emerged from the formed blister over rashed in this virus
  • Then there has discoloration also standard symptoms in the Hands, Knees, and Buttocks.
  • Soon the department going to depict more symptoms so that people can understand the main cause of the diseases.

Tomato Flu Treatment

Due to this new virus, the medical department has also worked hard so that they can able to find a solution for this disease. Because the life of people has important for the growth of the state and the country. Due to this the government of Kerala state as well as the Government of India has also kept their eye on this disease. Soon we will go to let you know mode about the Tomato Flu Precautions which have got to help your further while dealing with this virus.


The illness is rare in adults as they usually have immune systems strong enough to defend them from the virus but known cases in adults have been reported in the past.
 
Since Tomato fever is contagious, it is advisable to maintain a safe distance from the infected individual and prevent the scratching of blisters caused by the flu.
 
Currently emerging data is showing that beside spread via physical contact, the disease is also airborne.
 
Local Indian doctors are merely recommending proper rest, hygiene, and isolation for infected individuals. Also, they are suggesting that the infected individual’s utensils, clothes, and other items must be adequately sanitized.
 
Not much is known about the viral pathogen causing the disease.

Tomato flu is endemic to Kerala and its exact cause is not yet known. Other than the rash, most symptoms—high fever, bodyache, joint pain, nausea—are almost similar to that of dengue and chikungunya, and there was conjecture in the 2007 outbreak of the disease that it is an aftermath of the two diseases.

“It is not a life-threatening disease but it is contagious and can spread from person to person, though the real modes of spread of infection are still under investigation,” says Dr Subhash Chandra, assistant professor, internal medicine, Amrita Hospital, Kochi. Tomato flu might not be fatal, but there is also no treatment for it. Most doctors manage the illness symptomatically.

“Patients who develop tomato fever should take plenty of fluids and bed rest as is advised for other viral fevers to keep the body hydrated and well-rested,” adds Dr Chandra.

What is interesting, however, is the rapidity with which health authorities have responded to the outbreak. Not only were districts in Karnataka’s border towns placed on high alert, but within a week of the first case in Kerala, Tamil Nadu began a mandatory screening of children aged under five entering their state. In Kerala, local authorities have taken up the cleaning of water bodies and appealed for greater attention to personal hygiene and sanitation of living spaces to check the viral spread.

There have also been repeated communications from health ministers of various states to reduce panic and give updates on the spread of the disease. Most importantly, awareness programmes have been set up quickly, with Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu health departments sending out field workers to educate people on the disease.

“Covid has really taught us the importance of public awareness and sensitisation. Ignorance and public laxity is often what leads to an uncontrolled spread, which could be avoided if correct and timely information is available,” says Dr Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India (PFHI). Even though tomato flu is not likely to become a major disease, the public health approach towards it shows that the lessons learnt with the Covid pandemic can be used for the control and cure of other illnesses as well.

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