Kerala recently reported almost 80 cases of ‘tomato flu‘ – a viral disease that causes rashes or blisters, skin irritation and dehydration. In the wake of rising cases in the states, Tamil Nadu and Coimbatore, too, have ramped up surveillance on travellers entering the state.
“Tomato flu is an unidentified fever that has been detected in several parts of Kerala. The rare viral disease has infected more than 80 children in the state who are under 5 years of age, so far. The flu gets its name from the red coloured blisters it causes,” Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, said.
Currently, the exact cause of the flu is being investigated. “There is a debate going on, reportedly, on whether the disease is a viral fever or an aftereffect of chikungunya or dengue fever,” Dr Bajaj said.
Some of the most common symptoms include rashes, skin irritation and dehydration, the expert shared. “The flu has also caused nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing, body ache, sneezing, runny nose, tiredness, and pain in joints,” according to some reports.
Prevention and treatment
Here are some tips concerning tomato flu that you must keep in mind, according to Dr Bajaj.
*Prevent children from scratching the blisters caused by the flu as it can make it worse.
*Doctors have also advised proper rest and hygiene. Fluid intake must also be increased to counter dehydration.
*Parents should immediately consult a doctor in case of any of the symptoms.
*Like other types of flu, tomato fever is also contagious. So if someone is infected, they need to be kept in isolation.