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Tomato Flu: Symptoms, Causes And Everything We Know So Far

Health experts warn India about 'Tomato Flu', a very contagious, viral disease. The virus has infected 82 children till now.

Tomato Flu: Symptoms, Causes And Everything We Know So Far

Tomato flu so far has only affected children aged 5 or below

Tomato flu, a new type of hand, foot and mouth disease, cases have been found in Kerala and Odisha. According to Lancet Respiratory Journal, cases of 'tomato flu' were first reported in Kerala's Kollam and May 6 and has so far infected 82 children. These kids are under the age of 5, the Lancet report further said. The name tomato flu originates because of the red rashes and blisters the flu may cause, similar to how tomatoes look. It is a contagious, self-limiting disease and no specific drug exists to treat it. 

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms recorded so far are being considered similar to that of chikungunya. The symptoms experienced by children include:

  • Tomato-like red blisters
  • Rashes
  • High fever
  • Swelling in the joints
  • Body ache
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy 

What preventive measures can we follow?

The easiest way to stay clear of any flu is to maintain good hygiene. Along with this, keep your surroundings clean and regularly sanitised. However, in case parents are noticing any symptoms in their kids, they are advised to immediately talk to a health professional and get the guidance they require. All the symptoms may be treated how you usually would and strictly avoid scratching or tearing the blisters as that may worsen the symptoms. 

Though some symptoms are similar to COVID-19, the tomato flu has nothing to do with it. These symptoms are usually seen in other types of viral infections also. It is caused by intestinal viruses and is rare in adults as they usually have immune systems strong enough to defend them from the virus. 

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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