A Tomato flu variant has caused a health scare among children in several states.
As India reopened after two dreadful years of Covid-19, infectious diseases resurfaced, and a new variant of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, also known as tomato flu, caused widespread panic in many states.
Tomato flu is a rare viral infection that may be a new variant of viral hand-foot-and-mouth disease, a common infectious disease that primarily affects children aged one to five years old.
Initially, cases of tomato flu were reported in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha. On May 6, 2022, tomato flu was discovered in the Kollam district of Kerala.
The Kerala Health Department took precautionary measures to monitor and prevent the spread of the viral infection in other parts of India.
In September, Assam reported over 100 cases of tomato flu, raising the state health department’s alarm. The most cases were reported from two schools in the Dibrugarh district.
The governments of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu had also issued tomato flu advisories.
Though the tomato flu disease is not considered life-threatening, healthcare experts have warned that if the disease spreads further after the Covid-19 pandemic, it could return to schools.
Adults have a low chance of contracting the disease, according to health officials.
According to Bhawuk Dhir, a dermatologist at Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, this is a clear sign that we are entering a viral disease era.
“With the rampage of Covid-19, Monkeypox, and now hand-foot-and-mouth disease — as predicted by various researchers in the past, we are clearly heading towards an era of viral diseases.” “Dhir had informed media.
“Tomato flu is caused by Coxsackie virus A16 (a non-polio enterovirus), which is highly contagious and spreads through nasal and throat secretions, blister fluid, and the fecal-oral route.” “Dhir elaborated.
Most of the time, it is a mild self-limiting viral disease that requires supportive care to recover from. Some people may develop complications like meningitis or disseminated infection.
The Union Health Ministry has also issued tomato flu guidelines, stressing that its treatment is similar to that of other viral infections, such as isolation, rest, plenty of fluids and a hot water sponge to relieve irritation and rash. Fever and body aches require paracetamol, as well as other symptomatic treatments.
“Tomato flu is a self-limiting infectious disease, with signs and symptoms resolving within a few days,” the CDC said in a “Department Policy
There are no antiviral drugs or vaccines available to treat or prevent tomato flu.
“The term tomato fever was coined to describe the red blisters that resemble tomatoes. Kerala also experienced a similar outbreak in 2007,” points out Dhir.
Although not many new cases are currently reported, the best way to prevent this disease is to keep the surrounding environment clean and hygienic, and to avoid sharing toys, clothes, food or other objects with infected children. Other non-infected children.