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Tomato Flu Outbreak in India, Lancet Issues Alert

Tomato Flu

According to The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, as the country battles COVID-19 and monkeypox, a new virus known as tomato flu or tomato fever has emerged in children under the age of five in the Indian state of Kerala.

Rare viral infection is in an endemic state and is not considered life-threatening. According to reports, so far 82 children under the age of five have been infected with it. Tomato flu is a self-limiting disease and there is no specific medicine to treat it.

In addition, the Bhubaneswar Regional Medical Research Center reported that 26 children (aged 1-9 years) in Odisha have been infected with the disease. Apart from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, no region of India has been affected by this virus so far. However, the Kerala Health Department is taking precautionary measures to control the spread of the virus and prevent its spread to other parts of India.

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“Just as we are dealing with the probable emergence of the fourth wave of Covid-19, a new virus known as tomato flu, or tomato fever, has emerged in India in the state of Kerala in children younger than 5 years,” Lancet said in its report.

Causes of Tomato Flu

The infectious disease is caused by an intestinal virus and is rare in adults because they usually have a strong enough immune system to protect against the virus.

Health experts say that this is a self-limiting condition and there is no specific medicine to treat it. Speaking to the journal, they also warned that the infection is “very contagious”.

Symptoms of Tomato Flu

The Hand Foot Mouth Disease is called tomato fever because red blisters appear on the patient’s body and gradually increase to the size of a tomato.

Some of the patients have also complained of fatigue, joint pain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, sneezing, runny nose, high fever and body aches. The symptoms further include high fever, body ache and fatigue – much like chikungunya.

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