What is tomato flu, reported in over 80 children in India?

NEW DELHIEdited By: Nikhil PandeyUpdated: May 11, 2022, 12:23 PM IST

The infection causes children below 5 years to suffer fever, skin irritation and rashes, dehydration and blisters on several parts of the body. Photograph:(PTI)

Story highlights

Tomato flu has been detected in over 80 children aged below five in Kerala. Tomato flu is an unidentified fever that causes rashes and blisters which are generally red in colour. Symptoms of the disease include skin irritation, body aches and high fever. Infected children can also have joint swellings, tiredness, cramps in the stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

The tomato flu virus has been detected in numerous districts of Southern Indian state of Kerala, in the middle of subsequent food poisoning episodes caused by shigella bacteria. 

According to reports in the media, the rare viral disease has affected over 80 children under the age of five in the state.

A team of medics will screen individuals for fever, rashes, and other diseases at Walayar on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border to battle the spread of the tomato flu in one of Kerala's districts.

What is 'Tomato Flu,' exactly?

Tomato flu, which causes rashes, skin irritation, and dehydration, is the most common misdiagnosed infection in India. 

The flu gets its name from a disease that generates tomato-shaped blisters.

Kerala's 'tomato flu'

Kollam, Neduvathur, Anchal, and Aryankavu are the worst-affected areas in Kerala. 

As a result, the Department of Health is establishing a camp and taking measures in certain locations; the flu only affects children under the age of five.

'Tomato flu' symptoms

Skin irritation, Rashes, Red spots on hands and legs, Fever,Dehydration,Blisters,Cough and cold,Diarrhoea

How can this be prevented?

A viral infection causes the 'Tomato flu.' Even while the situation is not alarming, we must proceed with prudence.

1) Stay hydrated by drinking boiled water.
2) Don't let the blisters formed by Tomato Flu crack.
3) Keep your distance from the infected person.
4) Maintaining excellent hygiene is crucial for the diseased person.