A new infection dubbed tomato flu, or tomato fever, has been detected in India mostly among children younger than five, according to a report in the Lancet Respiratory Journal.
What is ‘tomato flu’?
- The flu gets its name because of the red blister it causes.
- The flu affects children below five years of age.
- The symptoms of this flu, also called Tomato fever, include rashes, skin irritation and dehydration. The flu can also cause tiredness, joint pain, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, high fever, and body ache. In some cases, it may also change the colour of the legs and the hands.
- The ‘tomato flu’ is caused by Coxsackie virus A 16. It belongs to Enterovirus family.
- This flu is a self-limiting one and there is no specific drug for this. This means that the symptoms will resolve overtime on their own if supportive care is given.
- Like other cases of flu, tomato fever is also contagious. If someone is infected with this flu, they need to be kept in isolation as this could spread rapidly from one person to another.
- It is essential to prevent children from scratching the blisters caused by the flu. Proper rest and hygiene is also advised. Utensils, clothes and other items used by the infected persons must be sanitised to prevent the flu from spreading.
- Fluid intake would also help counteract dehydration.