Tomato flu afflicts 80 Kerala kids: Know symptoms, prevention tips
Kerala reported a mysterious disease called "tomato flu" that has affected more than 80 children under five years of age in the state, the local media reported. Tomato flu reportedly causes rashes and blisters on the infected child's body, and also dehydration. The disease gets its name from the red color of the rashes which look like tomatoes.
Why does this story matter?
Tomato flu has been reported at a time when Kerala is grappling with suspected food poisoning in the Kasaragod district due to an outbreak of the shigella infection. As many as 58 people took ill and a 16-year-old girl died after consuming shawarma from an eatery in Kasaragod on May 1. Shigella is one of the leading bacterial causes of diarrhea globally.
What are the symptoms of tomato flu?
The children who contracted the tomato flu developed red blisters the size of tomatoes. Other symptoms of the "mysterious" disease that have been reported in children include skin irritation, body ache, tiredness, nausea, sneezing, coughing, dehydration, stomach ache, joint swelling, discoloration of hands, knees, and buttocks. According to reports, most symptoms match those of chikungunya.
Causes of tomato flu still unclear
Apart from Kollam, Neduvathur, Anchal, and Aryankavu are among the worst-affected areas in Kerala in terms of disease spread. This has prompted the department of health to establish a camp and take measures in certain locations. However, the cause behind the tomato flu is still unclear with many wondering if it is a viral fever or an after-effect of chikungunya or dengue fever.
How can this be prevented?
Since what causes the tomato flu infection is still unclear, here are some preventive measures that one can undertake: Staying hydrated Drinking boiled water Not letting the blisters formed by tomato flu crack Keeping a safe distance from any infected person(s) Maintaining proper hygiene The infected child should also get proper rest
Check-up for tomato flu on Tamil Nadu-Kerala border
Cracking down on those entering Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore, a medical team is checking for fever, rashes, and other symptoms at Walayar on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, PTI reported. Two medical officers are leading the team and checking passengers, especially children, sources told PTI on Tuesday. A 24-member team has been formed to check the children in anganwadis as well, the sources said.Share this timeline