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

The tomato flu has caused a sense of worry in certain districts of Kerala. Here's what we know about the flu so far.

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

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

Tomato flu is being detected in the district of Kollam in Kerala. It has been found to affect children aged 5  years or below. The flu caused major worry in the district as the flu affected about 80 children. Cases are also being reported in Anchal, Aryankavu, and Neduvathur. The name tomato flu originates because of the red rashes and blisters the flu may cause, similar to how tomatoes look. 

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. 

Should we be worried?

The Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar reaffirmed that the masses do not need to panic. Furthermore, he has also intimidated the district border to stay vigilant and keep a close eye on the symptoms of people leaving and entering the border. As per a PTI report, Sudhakar said "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. There is no need to panic as the authorities have been asked to remain alert. Moreover, the tomato flu is endemic to Kerala,". In addition to this, upon talking to physician Dr. Balamurugan, we were reassured that the flu is not fatal and hence we do not need to worry. He also said "The exact cause behind this Tomato Flu is not yet known and health officials are still investigating the main causes of Tomato fever. There is a debate if the disease is a viral fever or an aftereffect of chikungunya or dengue fever."

What is the update from the authorities?

The authorities are surveilling the borders of Tamil Nadu to ensure the spread of this flu is minimal and controlled. A medical team in Coimbatore is taking into account any symptoms people may be experiencing entering and coming from Kerala. 

So far, as discussed above, the flu does not appear to be lethal. Hence, there is no need to panic till the time enough research and tests are done on the flu and its effects. 


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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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