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With the looming fear of the fourth wave of Covid gripping its hold on people across India, a new flu has emerged targeting young children. Parents’ anxiousness for their children’s health is calling out health professionals and the government to pull up their socks and take preventive measures to contain the spread. Tomato flu is affecting majorly children that are below five years. Even though the authorities call it non-threatening, speculations are still there.
Read on to know more about this flu.
What Is Tomato Flu?
Tomato flu, also called Tomato fever, is a viral flu affecting children, especially those aged five and under. The flu has got its name due to the red coloured rashes the flu causes on the infected individual’s body. The rashes may turn into blisters as the infection spreads, similar to how a tomato looks. It is a contagious fever but not life-threatening.
There is also a debate whether Tomato fever is a viral fever or an after-effect of fevers like dengue or chikungunya. Some experts also believe that this fever resembles a virus-based disease—Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).
Symptoms of Tomato Flu
The symptoms of Tomato flu are similar to those of chikungunya. Skin irritation, red blisters, and dehydration are common symptoms of this fever. Some may also experience discolouration of knees, buttocks, and hands. Other symptoms of Tomato flu include:
- High fever
- Body pain
- Joint pain
- Runny nose
Causes of Tomato Flu
The exact cause of Tomato flu is unknown as it is yet to be confirmed which group of virus is responsible for this flu.
Treatment and Prevention
There is no specific medication for the flu. The best approach is to consult a doctor immediately if you see any symptoms mentioned above.
Tomato flu is self-limiting. Symptomatic care can help treat the symptoms. Experts also suggest that Tomato flu is self-limiting and does not have any specific drug to treat it. The symptoms like rashes subside eventually on their own with good supportive care.
Here are some ways you can prevent the spread of Tomato flu:
- Children with Tomato flu must be kept in isolation as it could spread rapidly.
- Clothes, utensils, personal hygiene items, and other things of the infected individual must not be shared and sanitised to prevent the flu from spreading further.
- Scratching of blisters or rashes should be avoided.
- Proper hygiene and rest are recommended.
- A regular check-up with the doctor to keep tabs on the changing symptoms is necessary.
- Diarrhoea can cause dehydration. Therefore, infected children must drink boiled and cooled water frequently.
- If you see any symptoms, consult the doctor immediately.
- Washing fruits and vegetables properly before consuming them will help avoid symptoms.
The experts do not recommend antiviral therapies for infected children as the primary cause is still unknown.
Because its name is related to tomatoes, parents must note that eating or keeping tomatoes at home is in no way related to the flu. So, consuming tomatoes is totally safe. Experts have also suggested remaining calm as the disease has no connections with the Covid-19 virus or chikungunya.