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What is Tomato Flu and It's Prevention

By Dr. Astha Agrawal in Paediatrics (Ped)

Sep 06 , 2022 | 1 min read

The ‘new’ virus, tomato flu, is a variant of already existing hand, foot, and mouth disease. Did you know that it is also known as tomato fever and is more common among tiny tots than adults? Specifically, it is more prevalent among children below the age of 5.

If you are wondering why it is called tomato flu, let me tell you, it is called so due to the red blisters on the body; they are painful, round, and full of fluid. It is a viral disease that is not life-threatening but highly contagious.

In India, the disease was first identified in Kerela on May 6, 2022, and many cases have been found till date. So keep reading to take care of your child and deal with it effectively.

What are the causes of Tomato flu?

The causes of tomato flu are attributed to viruses carried by mosquitoes, specifically the kind that causes chikungunya. The exact cause is, however, unknown.

What are some symptoms of tomato flu?

Some symptoms of tomato flu include:

  1. Large, bright, red, fluid-filled blisters that resemble tomatoes

  2. High-grade fever

  3. Rashes

  4. Severe dehydration

  5. Tiredness

  6. Joint pain

  7. Body ache

  8. Lethargy

  9. Stomach cramps

  10. Fatigue

  11. Diarrhoea

  12. Swollen joints

  13. Skin Irritation

  14. Loss of appetite

  15. Discolouration in the hands, knees, and buttocks

  16. Runny nose and sneezing

  17. Frequent coughing

What is the treatment for tomato fever?

The treatment for tomato flu is to stay hydrated, take lots of rest and sleep. It is important not to let the blisters burst. It is advised people wait for the symptoms to subside on their own, which can take about ten days to resolve. Your doctor may advise symptomatic treatment for fever, body aches, rashes etc. It is essential to isolate so others do not fall sick. You should see a doctor if new symptoms arise or the existing symptoms get worse.

Tomato Flu Prevention

Tomato flu is a contagious disease. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. So it is necessary to:

  1. Maintain good hand hygiene

  2. Keep your surroundings clean

  3. Educate children about maintaining hygiene, like using handkerchiefs when sneezing or coughing and washing their hands regularly

  4. Keep utensils, clothing and bedding separate and sanitise them regularly

  5. Avoid contact with infected people

  6. Eat a nutritious diet to maintain and build immunity

  7. Get enough rest and sleep

If you or your loved one has any symptoms, consult our top specialists. Book your appointment now.