News: Recently, some parts of Kerala have reported cases of children below the age of five getting infected with tomato flu.
- This infection is named ‘tomato flu’ because red blisters appear on the patient’s body which gradually increase to the size of a normal tomato and the person suffering from it suffers a lot.
- ‘Tomato flu’ is caused by Coxsackievirus A16.
- It belongs to the Enterovirus family.
- Enteroviruses are an old and important group of RNA viruses.
- Humans are the only host for enteroviruses (NPEVs).
- This infectious disease is caused by an intestinal virus that is rare in adults because they usually have an adequate immune system to defend against the virus.
- Tomato flu is highly contagious and children are at increased risk of exposure to tomato flu because viral infections are common in this age group and are more likely to spread through close contact.
- If the outbreak of tomato flu in children is not controlled, it can spread to adults and transmission can lead to serious consequences.
- The primary symptoms seen in children with tomato flu are similar to those of chikungunya, including high fever, rash, and severe joint pain.
- Like other viral infections, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, joint swelling, body aches and general influenza-like symptoms have been observed in dengue.
- This flu is self-limiting and there is no specific medicine for it.
- The treatment of tomato flu is similar to the treatment of chikungunya, dengue, hand, and foot and mouth disease.
- Patients are advised to self-isolate, rest, drink fluids and take a warm water sponge to relieve irritation and rash.