By Dr Kuntilla Amulya
Consultant General Physician
Published on 07/09/2022
This time it's about the health of children. As COVID-19 and monkeypox seemed to settle down, another viral virus, 'Tomato Flu,' entered Kerala!
Tomato flu or tomato fever is a viral disease that generates tomato-like blisters on various body parts. The flu primarily affects children under the age of five who have unexplained fever. Let's understand about this new flu and spread awareness!
What is Tomato Flu?
Tomato flu, also known as tomato fever, is an unexplained viral disease that causes undiagnosed fever in children. The name tomato flu refers to the disease's prominent symptom, tomato-shaped blisters on various body parts. This flu causes blisters/rashes, skin irritation, and dehydration in children. Most of them are under the age of five. Blisters are often red and, when large enough, resemble tomatoes; thus, the names "tomato fever" or "tomato flu."
What are the symptoms of Tomato Flu?
The primary symptoms of the disease include:
- Red large blisters
- High fever
- Swelling of joints
- Skin irritation
- Body aches
Some other symptoms include:
- Discoloration of knees, buttocks and hands
- Abdominal cramps
- Runny nose
What are the causes of Tomato Flu?
The disease's causes are yet unknown. Health officials are still investigating the causes of tomato fever. According to reports, tomato flu has only impacted areas of Kerala in India. Still, as it is a transmissible disease, health officials have warned that the condition could have a widespread impact if proper precautions are not taken.
Is Tomato flu a contagious infection?
Yes, tomato flu is a contagious disease that spreads by direct touch, and it is widespread in school-aged children due to poor hygiene and frequently putting their hands in their mouths. The infectious agents can persist in a child's body for many weeks after infection. Adults who are not displaying any symptoms of the illness can also transmit the virus to children.
Preventive measures for Tomato Flu
Stopping the spread of infection is the best way to fight the disease. In the event of an unexpected illness outbreak, prevention is always better, as we all know. To stop the spread of infection, we should keep our distance and follow some preventive measures, such as:
- Avoid direct contact with the sick person.
- Educate the children about the signs and symptoms, as well as the potential adverse effects.
- Tell the children not to touch anyone with a fever or a rash.
- People should teach the children about maintaining good hygiene and avoiding thumb or finger-sucking behaviors.
- Encourage the children to use a handkerchief if they have a runny nose or cough to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Don't scratch or rub the blister; wash your hands after touching it.
- Keep the child hydrated.
- If your child gets symptoms of tomato fever, keep them away from other children as soon as possible to prevent disease transmission.
- Regularly separate and sanitize all utensils, clothing, and other valuable items.
- To increase immunity, eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
- It is essential to get sufficient rest and sleep to improve recovery.
Is Tomato Flu related to Covid-19?
Although few symptoms of tomato flu are similar to Covid-19, they are in no way related. The symptoms of tomato fever are identical to other viral infections as well. It's better not to panic and remain alert!
Parents should seek immediate medical advice from a nearby doctor if a child shows tomato fever symptoms. Sick children should frequently drink pure water to stay hydrated.
Life is precious; stay alert!
Follow the advisory and save the children-Future of our country.