While India is still fighting the global pandemic of COVID-19, new cases are resurfacing across the country, there is another fear that is said – Tomato Flu. It is a rare viral disease that infects children rapidly in India. It seems that the disease is known to affect children more than adults.
This blog explains all about this rare disease, its common symptoms, and possible treatments. Read on.
What is Tomato Flu?
As mentioned above, Tomato Flu is a rare disease that spreads through the virus, causing red lesions in the body. These spots appear in the color and shape of the tomato, hence its name. Tomato Flu is also known by another name – Tomato Fever. Note that the symptoms and treatment of Tomato Flu are similar to those of Dengue fever or Chikungunya.
Tomato blight was reported in India in the states of Kerala and Odisha in May this year. In fact, Tomato Flu Kerala cases increased which forced the government to insist on screening of visitors from other parts of the country. The disease is said to affect young children between the ages of 1 and 9.
Is Tomato Flu the Same as Foot and Mouth Disease?
The red bumps or blisters that appear on the child’s body look very similar to those that can be seen as Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). Therefore, Tomato Flu can sometimes be confused with HFMD. Basically, Tomato Fever is one of the forms or variations of HFM Disease that occurs in young children. The reason why all these diseases affect children more than adults is the weak immunity of children which makes it difficult for them to fight the disease.
Symptoms of Tomato Flu Virus
How to find out about the disease in children? Here are some of the common symptoms of Tomato Flu that you should watch out for in your child:
- Itchy or Itchy Skin: This is often the first symptom you will notice. The child’s skin becomes very itchy and has a habit of scratching the body. This happens even before scars or blisters appear.
- Fever: Along with itching, the child may have a fever, mild or high. Be aware that sometimes there can be a fever without itching symptoms.
- Body aches: Some older children may complain of body aches; however, young children cannot express themselves clearly. If the child is constantly crying and moving around in bed, it is possible that he is feeling pain in the body.
- Blisters: Within a day or two after the itching or fever, the child will develop a red rash on the hands, feet, and buttocks. These are the areas where most people develop rashes. They soon develop into tomato-shaped blisters that may or may not be painful. If you have pain, contact your child’s pediatrician.
- Mouth ulcers: A child may also develop mouth ulcers which are very painful. This can prevent the child from eating or drinking anything. Some children may be able to eat liquids for a few days until the sores heal, while others may not be able to drink liquids. It is also normal for the child’s appetite to decrease during this time.
- Fatigue: The child may also become very tired or lethargic.
- Bone inflammation: This is another symptom of Tomato Flu; some children may experience mild swelling in the joints which can cause pain.
Causes of Tomato Flu
Now let’s understand what causes Tomato Flu. Many health experts around the world are expressing concern about the rapidly spreading disease. However, none of them can know what causes Tomato Disease.
What is known so far is that the disease begins with a virus called coxsackievirus. The virus is found in young children, especially up to five years of age. The disease is highly contagious and can be easily spread from an infected child to another by touching or playing in close proximity.
Apart from this, young children can also get the virus from dirty places like the floor, putting dirty things in their mouths, etc. Experts also say that although the cause of Tomato Flu is not yet known, it seems to be different from Hand Foot and Mouth Disease.
How Can Tomato Flu Be Treated?
We talked about the symptoms of the disease and its possible causes. Now let’s talk about how Tomato Fever can be cured.
Doctors say that this disease is like any other cold and therefore can be treated easily at home, without the need for medicine. The only important thing to remember is that the child should be alone because the disease is very contagious to children. The child should not be sent to school for a week or until he feels better.
Also, the treatment for Tomato Flu is similar to that followed for Dengue or Chikungunya as the symptoms of both are similar. The patient is advised to drink plenty of water and a hot water sponge every day to get rid of the rash.
There is no specific treatment prescribed for Tomato Flu; in case of fever, paracetamol can be given to the child at intervals of 6 hours. If the itching is severe, the pediatrician may prescribe an ointment to reduce the itching of the skin. Also, make sure that the child does not remove the blisters. They should dry up and shed on their own within a few days, and then new skin will appear.
Can Tomato Blight Be Prevented?
Diseases caused by these viruses often breed in dirty places. Therefore, make sure that you clean all areas of your home and keep all areas around you clean at all times. Also, if the child is infected, he must be isolated to prevent the spread of the disease to other children. Between siblings, avoid sharing soap, clothes, toys, and other common things of the child.
Tomato Flu is a rare disease, however, it can be treated at home without the need for many drugs. However, serious viruses and infectious diseases are on the rise in India and other parts of the world, many of which also infect children. Monkeypox is one example.
Therefore, to protect your family’s health and ensure that you have enough money to cover unexpected illnesses, it is always better buy a health insurance plan. Get health insurance for you and your family today and be stress free from the thought of health care expenses and rising illnesses.
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