On May 6, 2022, the Kollam district of Kerala reported its first case of tomato flu; as of July 26, 2022, the local government hospitals had documented the infection in more than 82 children under the age of five. Anchal, Aryankavu, and Neduvathur are the other Kerala regions that have been impacted. The Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD), a clinical variant for tomato flu, has now reached Tamil Nadu, Haryana, and Odisha. Let's read more about the Tomato flu outbreak in India.
This frequent infectious and contagious viral illness primarily affects people with weakened immune systems and children between the ages of one and five. The sickness affects the mouth, hand, and foot. Tomato flu in youngsters may be a complication of Dengue fever or Chikungunya rather than a viral illness. Tomato flu symptoms include body aches, skin irritation, fever, vomiting, joint swelling, and others that are comparable to Dengue and Chikungunya as per the Lancet study.
There are urban legends claiming that tomatoes and the flu have some connection. However, the red, uncomfortable blisters that develop all over and progressively enlarge to the size of a tomato are the reason it is given the name "Tomato."
Patients exhibiting the symptoms indicated below should undergo molecular and serological tests to rule out Dengue, Chikungunya, and the Zika virus.
Here are some ways to protect yourself from Tomato Flu.
The known treatment for Tomato flu seems similar to the treatment of Chikungunya and Dengue. Patients are advised to isolate, rest, stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. Some drugs that can be used are supportive therapy of paracetamol for fever and body ache and other symptomatic treatments are required.
The infection known as hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is very contagious. The coxsackievirus, which is most frequently responsible, belongs to the Enterovirus genus. Hence tomato flu is caused by coxsackieviruses. These viruses can be transmitted directly from one person to another by coming into touch with unwashed hands or feces-contaminated surfaces. Additionally, contact with a person's saliva, feces, or respiratory secretions might spread it. All ages can be affected by the virus, although children under the age of five are most frequently affected as per a CDC report. The majority of the time, it's a minor condition that resolves on its own in a few days.
A child with this disease may suffer from fever, decreased appetite, sore throat, headache, irritability, malaise, painful red blisters in mouth, drooling and red rash on hands and soles of feet.
Yes, tomato fever is a misleading colloquial name for hand foot and mouth disease. Tomato fever is not a scientific name. It has been loosely used to describe a common mild viral illness called Hand Foot and Mouth disease.
A coxsackievirus strain, most frequently coxsackievirus A16, is frequently responsible for HFMD. The coxsackievirus is a member of the enterovirus family of pathogens. Other kinds of enteroviruses can occasionally cause HFMD.
Viruses can be easily spread from person to person. You or your child may get HFMD through contact with a person’s:
The risk of developing HFMD is higher in young children. Attending daycare or school puts them at greater risk because infections can spread quickly in these settings. After exposure to the viruses that cause the disease, children typically develop immunity to it. This is why people older than 10 are rarely affected by the illness. Adults and older children can still contract the virus, especially if their immune systems are compromised.
A doctor can often diagnose HFMD by performing a physical exam. They’ll check the mouth and body for the appearance of blisters and rashes. The doctor will also ask the child about other symptoms. The doctor may take a throat swab or stool sample to test for the virus. This will allow them to confirm the diagnosis.
Certain at-home treatments can also provide relief from HFMD symptoms. One can try the following home remedies to help make blisters less bothersome:
Swishing warm salt water around in your mouth may also help relieve the pain associated with mouth blisters and throat sores.
Potential complications of HFMD include:
According to experts, the mortality rate in this disease is not high and could be treated easily. It is still a dangerous viral infection because it has severe complications and may cause deaths if not treated.
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