Parents in Kerala are left disturbed and anxious about the health of their little ones. The new flu ‘Tomato Flu’ is targeting kids in Kerala. Tomato flu is a viral disease that causes red rashes, skin irritation, and dehydration. The mysterious viral fever triggered panic in Kerala’s Kollam district after it was detected in 80 children, all under five years of age. Tamil Nadu has ramped up surveillance at its borders in the wake of “tomato flu”.
What is Tomato Flu?
Tomato flu has some symptoms similar to that of Chikungunya, such as high fever, body ache, joint swelling, and fatigue. However, infected children also experience rashes and skin irritation, further causing blisters on parts of the body. Abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, and discoloration of the hands, knees, and buttocks are some other symptoms. On the other hand, the exact cause behind the disease is not yet known and health officials are still investigating the main causes of Tomato fever. The flu is still largely unidentified and the causes are not exactly known. Whether it’s a new viral or an aftereffect of dengue/chikungunya is still being debated.
The major symptoms of tomato flu:
– High fever
– Rashes, skin irritation; hand and legs skin colour can also change
– Abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea
– Runny nose, cough, sneeze
– Tiredness and body ache
Is it Contagious?
Like every other flu, Tomato Fever is also contagious and the only way to stop the spread is to keep the affected child in isolation. It is essential to prevent children from scratching the blisters caused by the flu. Proper rest and hygiene are also advised. Utensils, clothes, and other items used by the infected persons must be sanitized to prevent the flu from spreading.
Tomato Fever is a self-limiting flu, which means the symptoms resolve overtime on their own if proper supportive care is provided. The most crucial aspect is to keep the child hydrated and be in regular touch with a doctor about changes in symptoms.
First and foremost, cleanliness and hygiene should be maintained. Proper hydration is also advised. Parents should immediately consult a doctor in case any of the above-mentioned symptoms are visible. Infected children should avoid scratching rashes or blisters as it will only make it worse.
According to a statement from Kerala Health Minister Veena George, care should be taken so that the disease doesn’t spread to other children. HFMD is highly contagious and spreads by direct contact with saliva, mucus, excreta, and fluid from blisters. A team of revenue, health, and police officials have been deployed at the Walayar check post located on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border to screen people coming from the neighboring state.
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