Tomato Flu in India: All About the Rare Viral Disease Symptoms and Treatment


5 min read

While India is still struggling to cope with the global COVID-19 pandemic, with fresh cases resurfacing across the country, there’s another scare being reported – Tomato Flu. It is a rare viral disease that is rapidly infecting children over India. Apparently, the infection is known to affect kids more than adults.

This blog details everything about this rare disease, its common symptoms, and possible treatment options. Read on.

What is Tomato Flu Disease?

As stated above, Tomato Flu is a rare disease that spreads through a virus, causing red rashes on the body. These rashes appear in the color and shape of a tomato, hence the name. Tomato Flu is also known by another name – Tomato Fever. Note that the symptoms and treatment of Tomato Flu are both just as those for Dengue fever or Chikungunya.

Tomato Fever was reported in India in the states of Kerala and Odisha in May this year. In fact, Tomato Flu Kerala cases were on the rise which forced the state to enforce strict checks on entry of visitors from other parts of the country. The disease is reported to affect young children between the age of 1 and 9 years.

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Is Tomato Flu the Same as Hand Foot and Mouth Disease?

The red rashes or blisters that appear on the child’s body look quite similar to the ones that can be seen in case of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). Hence, Tomato Flu can sometimes be confused for HFMD. Actually, Tomato Fever is in fact one of the forms or a variation of HFM Disease commonly found in young children. The reason that both these infections grip children more than adults is the weak immune system of kids that finds it hard to fight off these diseases.

Tomato Flu Symptoms – Common Symptoms of Tomato Flu Virus

How to identify this rare disease in children? Here are some of the most common Tomato Flu symptoms to watch out for in your child:

  • Irritation Or Itching Of Skin: This is generally the very first symptom that you may start noticing. The child may develop severe itching in the skin and would have the tendency to keep scratching the body. This is even before the rashes or blisters become visible.
  • Fever: Along with itching, the child may develop temperature as well, mild or high both. Note that sometimes there may only be fever with no itching signs.
  • Body pain: Some older kids may complain of body ache; however, small children may not be able to express it as clearly. If the child cries continuously and keeps moving around while lying in bed, chances are he/she is experiencing pain in the body.
  • Blisters: Within a day or two of developing itching and/or fever, the child will start developing red-colored rashes on palms, soles of the feet, and buttock area. These are the common areas where rashes are the most prominent. They soon start developing into tomato-shaped blisters which may or may not be painful. In case of pain, consult your child’s pediatrician.
  • Mouth sores: The child would also develop ulcer-like sores inside the mouth which are quite painful too. This would prevent the child from eating or sometimes even drinking anything. Some children may be more comfortable with taking liquid diet for a few days until the painful sores heal up, while some others may not be able to take even water. It’s also normal for the child’s appetite to go down during this time.
  • Tiredness: The child may also start to feel extremely fatigued or tired.
  • Swelling in joints: This is yet another symptom of Tomato Flu; some children may experience a mild swelling in their joints which can cause pain.

Tomato Flu Causes

Now let’s understand what exactly is Tomato Flu caused by. A number of health experts across the world are expressing concern over this rapidly spreading rare viral disease. However, none of them is able to ascertain the real cause of Tomato Fever.

All that is known so far is that the disease is caused by a virus by the name of coxsackievirus. This virus is commonly found in young children, mostly up to the age of 5 years. The disease is highly contagious and can easily spread from one infected child to another by touching each other or sitting and playing close to one another.

Besides this, young children are also prone to catching the virus from unclean surfaces like dirty floors, putting dirty things in their mouths, and the like. Experts also state that while the true cause of Tomato Flu is yet to be discovered, it definitely seems to be a variation of the otherwise common Hand Foot and Mouth Disease.

Tomato Flu Treatment – How Can Tomato Flu be Treated?

We discussed the common symptoms of the disease and what could be the possible causes. Now let’s discuss how can Tomato Fever be treated.

Doctors say that the infection is like any other viral flu and can therefore be easily treated at home, without the need for any medication. The only point to remember is that the child should be kept in isolation since the disease is highly contagious among children. The child should not be sent to school for at least a week or until they feel completely better.

Also, the treatment for Tomato Flu is quite similar to the one followed for Dengue or Chikungunya since the symptoms for all of them are also quite similar. The patient is advised to take plenty of fluids and hot water sponge every day to treat the rashes.

No specific medicine is prescribed for Tomato Flu; in case of fever, paracetamol may be given to the child at a gap of 6 hours. In case of severe itching, your child’s pediatrician may prescribe an ointment to reduce the itchiness of the skin. Also, make sure that the child does not peel the blisters. They should dry up on their own and shed off within a few days, after which new skin would appear.

Can Tomato Fever be Prevented?

This rare viral disease generally breeds in dirty and unhygienic surroundings. Therefore, make sure to sanitize all areas of your home and keep all surrounding areas clean and hygienic at all times. Besides, if the child gets infected, he/she should be kept in isolation to prevent further spread of the disease among other children. Among siblings, avoid sharing of soap, clothes, toys, and other common items of the infected child.

To Conclude

Tomato Flu is a rare viral disease, however, can be treated at home without the need for much medication. However, many more serious viruses and contagious diseases are on the rise in India and other parts of the world, most of them infecting children as well. Monkeypox is one example.

Therefore, to protect your family’s health and ensure that you have sufficient cost coverage in case of any unforeseen diseases, it’s always a good idea to buy a health insurance plan. Get health insurance for yourself and your family today and stay stress-free from the idea of spending on healthcare costs with the rise in diseases.

Found this post informational? Browse PayBima Blogs to read interesting posts related to Health Insurance, Car Insurance, Bike Insurance, Term Life Insurance and Investment section. You can visit PayBima to Buy Insurance Online.

Aug 28, 2022
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PayBima is an Indian insurance aggregator on a mission to make insurance simple for people. PayBima is the Digital arm of the already established and trusted Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd., a reputed name in the insurance broking industry with 17 years of experience. PayBima promises you the easy-to-access online platform to buy insurance policies, and also extend their unrelented assistance with all your policy related queries and services.

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