Tomato Flu: All you need to know
Over 100 cases of Tomato Flu are reported from Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Haryana. What is Tomato Flu? What are the precautions to be taken for it? Read on to know more.
गाँव कनेक्शन 31 Aug 2022 6:44 AM GMT
Cases of Tomato Flu are on the rise in the country, with over 100 cases reported across Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Haryana .
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Tomato Flu was first identified in Kollam district, Kerala on May 6. A week ago, on August 23, the Union health ministry also issued an advisory in the wake of the rising cases of the flu.
What is Tomato Flu?
Tomato Flu is a viral disease in which blisters appear on the body of the infected. The blisters start small and slowly grow into tomato-shaped blotches on the skin.
According to a recent Lancet study titled Tomato flu outbreak in India, Tomato Flu is a "rare viral infection", which is considered non-life-threatening and a self-limiting infectious disease.
The Union health ministry in its advisory stated the disease is a clinical variant of the so-called hand-foot-mouth disease that is common in school going children.
What are its symptoms?
High fever, rashes, pain in joints, coughing, sneezing, dehydration and diarrhoea, are the symptoms observed in children affected with Tomato Flu. The sores are usually located on the tongue, gums, inside of the cheeks, palms and soles. Children between the ages of one and 10, and immunocompromised adults, are particularly vulnerable to it, stated the Union health ministry in its advisory.
Although symptoms of Tomato Flu are similar to those of chikungunya, corona, and dengue, the Union health ministry clarified it is not related to the family of SARS-COV-2.
What is the treatment?
There are no no specific drugs to treat Tomato Flu. Supportive therapy of paracetamol for fever and body ache and other symptomatic treatments are required. Isolation, rest, plenty of fluids and hot water sponge for relief from skin irritation due to the blisters is advised. The patients are also advised isolation for 5-7 days from the onset of any symptom to prevent the spread of infection.
How to prevent the disease?
The Union health ministry has advised proper hygiene and sanitisation of the surrounding areas and environment as well as preventing the infected child from sharing toys, clothes, food, or other items with other non-infected children.
The ministry has listed following preventive measures:
- Avoid immediate contact with the infected person.
- Educate children about the signs and symptoms and its side effects.
- Instruct children not to hug or touch others having fever or rashes.
- Encourage children to learn about hygiene maintenance and stop them from sucking their thumbs.
- Encourage the child to use a handkerchief in case of running nose or coughing to avoid the spread of the disease.
- Don't scratch or rub the blister and wash every time you touch these blisters.
- Try to keep the child well hydrated with plenty of water, milk, or juice.
- If a child develops symptoms of tomato fever, immediately isolate him or her from other children to inhibit disease progression.
- All utensils, clothes, and other utility items such as bedding should be separated and sanitised regularly.
- Always use warm water to bathe the child or the affected skin
- The child should be on a nutrition-rich, balanced diet to boost immunity.
- It is essential to get enough rest and sleep to promote healing.