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All about the rare viral disease affecting children in India; Know symptoms and treatment

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Tomato Flu or Tomato Fever has been reported in India since May. The cases have been reported in Kerala and Odisha prompting the border state to maintain a strict vigil. As per a report, more than 80 cases of Tomato Flu have been identified in India. This has been a cause of worry for the district and health administration more so because it has been affecting children in the age group of 1-9. Now, as there seems to be a rising concern over this ‘rare’ infection, let us know some key points about Tomato Flu or Tomato Fever so that you and your family, especially the younger members, remain safe.

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What is Tomato Flu?

Tomato Flu is a rare viral disease, which causes red-coloured rashes, skin irritation and dehydration, and the disease gets its name from the blisters it causes, which look like tomatoes. It is a form of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Till now, most of the reported cases of Tomato Flu or Tomato Fever are among children from age 1-9. The illness is rare in adults as they usually have immune systems strong enough to defend them from the virus.

Tomato Flu Symptoms

Tomato Flu is characterised by the following symptoms.

— Fever

— Painful sores in the mouth

— Rash with blisters on hands, feet and buttocks

— Body ache

— Joint swelling

— Fatigue

— Skin irritation

— Dehydration

— Stomach pain

— Diarrhea and nausea

— Vomiting

Is Tomato Flu a form of COVID-19?

Though some symptoms are similar to COVID-19, the tomato flu has nothing to do with COVID-19. These symptoms are usually seen in other types of viral infections also.

Treatment measures for Tomato Flu

The Tomato Flu or Tomato Fever is a self-limiting one and there are no specific drugs for it. If someone is affected with this disease they should be kept in isolation as it spread fast from one person to the other. Those found with the infection are asked to remain in isolation for five-seven days. The treatment for Tomato Flu or Tomato Fever is similar to chikungunya or dengue as the symptoms are similar. Patients are given plenty of fluids and a hot water sponge to get rid of the rash.

How to prevent Tomato Flu?

Sanitisation and hygienic surroundings are a must to stop the spread of Tomato Flu or Tomato Fever. Infected children must be kept in isolation till the symptoms have subsided completely and sharing of food, toys, clothes and other items must be prevented. Infected children should avoid touching or scratching the blisters.


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