Doctors have sounded the alarm about a new disease that has set foot in India. ‘Tomato flu’, as it is commonly called, is a new type of hand, foot and mouth disease and cases have been found in Kerala and Odisha. According to the Lancet Respiratory Journal, cases of ‘tomato flu’ were first reported in Kollam in Kerala and on May 6 and have infected 82 children so far. The Lancet report further states that these children are below 5 years of age.
Tomato Flu in India
“As we are dealing with the possible emergence of a fourth wave of COVID-19, a new virus known as tomato flu, or tomato fever, has emerged in children under the age of 5 in the state of Kerala, India. The Lancet said its report.
Infectious disease is caused by intestinal viruses and is rare in adults because they usually have an immune system strong enough to defend against the virus.
This infection is named ‘tomato flu’ because red, painful blisters appear on the patient’s body and gradually increase to the size of a tomato.
Symptoms include high fever, body aches, swollen joints and fatigue – much like chikungunya. Some patients have also reported nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dehydration, swollen joints and body aches.
According to the Lancet, the other affected areas in Kerala are Anchal, Aryankavu and Neduvathur. It also said that the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were also alerted due to the outbreak of the disease.
“Additionally, 26 children (aged 1-9 years) have been reported to have the disease in Odisha by the Regional Medical Research Center in Bhubaneswar. Till date, apart from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, there is no other region in India affected by the virus,” the Lancet report said.
Health experts say that this is a self-limiting disease and there is no specific medicine for its treatment. Speaking to the magazine, he also warned that the infection is “very contagious”.