Tomato flu has so far been detected in more than 100 children in three states since the first case was reported on May 6.
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The emergence of a rare new viral infection afflicting young children has prompted Indian health authorities to issue a health advisory after more than 100 cases were discovered in India.
Tomato flu — so called because it causes painful red blisters — has so far been detected in 82 children under the age of five in Kerala, where the first case was detected on May 6. rice field.
Since then, 26 more cases have been reported in neighboring Tamil Nadu and eastern Orissa, with a 9-year-old child infected.
India’s health ministry said the virus was not life-threatening, but issued testing and prevention guidelines to all states this week, urging parents to be extra careful when checking their children for symptoms. .
What is tomato flu?
Tomato flu is a highly contagious viral infection that is spread through close contact, especially among young children under the age of five.
Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dehydration, swollen joints, body aches, common flu-like symptoms, and the eponymous tomato-like blisters.
Scientists are trying to identify the cause of the viral pathway.But they say it has nothing to do with SARS-CoV-2 [Covid-19]despite showing some similar symptoms, according to an article published last week in the British medical journal The Lancet.
More likely, the virus is a sequela of chikungunya or dengue, two viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.
Alternatively, it could be a new variant of viral hand-foot-and-mouth disease. It is a common infection that primarily targets children from her 1-year-old to her 5-year-old and immunocompromised adults.
How can you catch who?
Children are at increased risk of exposure to tomato flu, as viral infections are common in this age group and can be spread through close contact.
Also, using diapers, touching dirty surfaces, and putting objects directly in the mouth are especially risky.
However, older people may be at risk if the outbreak is uncontrolled and transmission is limited.
“Given its similarities to hand-foot-and-mouth disease, if an outbreak of tomato flu in children is not controlled and prevented, the transmission could spread to adults with serious consequences,” said the Lancet article. .
Tomato flu is a self-limiting disease and tends to go away on its own without treatment.
However, health officials have urged people to take precautions to prevent the outbreak from spreading, including isolating suspected cases for five to seven days after the onset of symptoms.
“The best solution for prevention is to maintain proper sanitation and disinfection of surrounding supplies and environments, and to prevent infected children from sharing toys, clothing, food, or other items with other uninfected children.” Do not share with,” said the Lancet article. .