India has continued its battle with Covid 19 for almost 3 years now and now a new contagious disease has entered the 'chat' and has now spread to four states - Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Kerala.
In children below age of 15, a total of 100 cases have been reported so far in the country. The first case was identified in Kerala's Kollam district on May 6.
The Regional Medical Research Centre in Bhubaneshwar has reported 26 cases of tomato flu in children between ages of 1-9 years in Odisha. Other than these four states no other states have reported any cases so far.
Caused by enteroviruses, it is seen to be a clinical variant of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). The flu gets its name from the tomato-shaped blisters it causes on the body.
The flu causes rashes or blisters, skin irritation and dehydration. Joint swelling, red spots on hands and legs, tiredness, and nausea are also some symptoms of the fever. The blisters resemble those seen in cases of the monkeypox virus in young individuals.
Probable reasons behind the spread among children could be touching unclean surfaces, putting things directly into the mouth, sharing toys, clothes, food and other items with an infected child.However, it is to be noted that Covid-19 and tomato flu have some common symptoms but are not related to one another.
Tomato fever is a self limiting disease and is non threatening. There are no vaccines or proper drugs available currently. Parents should make sure that their children do not hug or touch other children having fever or rash symptoms. It further advised the use of warm water to clean skin or for bathing the child. It is also important to take a nutrition-rich, balanced diet to boost immunity, and get enough rest and sleep to promote healing.
The government has advised isolation of five to seven days from the onset of any symptoms to prevent the spread of infection to other children or adults.